Skip to Content


NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Vienna, Austria, Nov 26, 2014 / 02:02 am (EWTN News).- The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has appealed to Muslims worldwide to both uphold shared human rights values as well as denounce the barbarity of the extremist group ISIS. 24 min 44 sec
Ferguson, Mo., Nov 25, 2014 / 12:31 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- The Archbishop of St. Louis rejected violent responses to a grand jury's decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer who killed a teenager, asking instead for prayer and action to solve underlying community problems.

13 hours 55 min
Aboard the papal plane, Nov 25, 2014 / 12:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Speaking to journalists in-flight on his way back from Strasbourg, Pope Francis touched on dialogue with extremist terrorists – saying that although it's difficult, the door is never completely closed. 14 hours 24 min
Vatican City, Nov 25, 2014 / 07:39 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis' address to the European Parliament touched on a variety of issues, all of which, he said, ought to promote the "centrality" of the human person so that a true cultural renewal can be attained. 18 hours 47 min
Strasbourg, France, Nov 25, 2014 / 07:05 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis said Tuesday that brotherhood and a spirit of mutual service are needed to overcome conflict, telling the Council of Europe that both the continent and Christianity have special roles to play in this work. 19 hours 21 min
Strasbourg, France, Nov 25, 2014 / 05:31 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- While Pope Francis was applauded at the European Parliament on Tuesday at his mention of children "killed even before being born" as among the victims of a "throwaway" culture, the European Court for Human Rights has said regulating the treatment of infants born-alive after late-term abortion is outside its competence. 20 hours 55 min
Vatican City, Nov 25, 2014 / 04:49 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A new volume of Benedict XVI's collected works includes an updated version of a 1972 essay in which he had suggested that the divorced and remarried could receive Communion – but the Pope had long since abandoned that position, scholars noted. 21 hours 37 min
Vatican City, Nov 24, 2014 / 07:57 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Cardinal Robert Sarah has been appointed as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments -- a decision that sets a decisive tone for Curial reform. 1 day 18 hours
Brussels, Belgium, Nov 24, 2014 / 07:09 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- With elections for European Parliament having taken place in May, an auxiliary bishop of Brussels hopes that Pope Francis' Nov. 25 visit to the body will impact the new members of parliament.
1 day 19 hours
Oklahoma City, Okla., Nov 24, 2014 / 07:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Next year's World Meeting of Families – which Pope Francis has confirmed he will attend – will be a "tremendous catechetical moment" for the Church, affirmed one U.S. archbishop. 1 day 19 hours
Gary, Ind., Nov 24, 2014 / 04:33 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis has named the next bishop of Gary, Indiana: Milwaukee's Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying, who drew praise for his commitment to evangelization and to the sanctity of life.

1 day 21 hours
Vatican City, Nov 24, 2014 / 02:05 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- God's love is the "source" and "destination" of all holiness, said Pope Francis on Nov. 24, speaking of India's newly declared saints ahead of a Mass of thanksgiving in the Vatican. 2 days 21 min
Strasbourg, France, Nov 24, 2014 / 01:27 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Ahead of Pope Francis' Nov. 25 address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, pro-life leaders are emphasizing the danger of a mentality that fails to respect life across the continent.
2 days 59 min
Vatican City, Nov 23, 2014 / 11:48 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On the Feast of Christ the King, during the canonization Mass of six new saints, Pope Francis said that Jesus Christ's kingdom comes through his works of mercy--works that Christians must imitate with tenderness. 2 days 14 hours
Vatican City, Nov 23, 2014 / 08:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his ad limina address to the bishops of Zambia on Monday, Pope Francis urged them to continue to build upon the efforts of missionaries to the country, a quarter of whose people are Catholic, and who are nearly all Christian.
2 days 18 hours
Jos, Nigeria, Nov 23, 2014 / 06:08 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Boko Haram's expansion has meant murders, forced conversion, and forcible expulsion from homes, causing Catholics in Nigeria to pray and to reach out to help and console the militant Islamist group's victims. 2 days 20 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted
Staff Report The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in union with the Catholic Church around the world, will celebrate members of religious orders and others in consecrated life during the Year of Consecrated Life called by Pope Francis from Nov. 30, 2014 … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Matt Hadro CNA/EWTN News  FERGUSON, MO. — The Archbishop of St. Louis rejected violent responses to a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson police officer who killed a teenager, asking instead for prayer and action to solve … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
Staff Report A popular Christmas activity in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the University of Dayton’s annual display of 200-plus Nativity scenes. Now residents in the archdiocese’s southern parts will have a chance to experience some of those creches without … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
Staff Report Below are news and notes from around the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Bishop Fenwick students embrace homelessness awareness, gather food Forty students, representing all four grade levels, participated in Fenwick High School‘s Shantytown. “The purpose of Shantytown was to … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — Using a newly simplified rite, Pope Francis proclaimed six new saints and praised them for the love and self-giving with which they served God and built up his kingdom by serving … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Catholic News Service  WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying of Milwaukee as bishop of Gary, Indiana, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Dale J. Melczek, who has headed the diocese since 1996. The changes … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church “is a mother without limits and without borders,” welcoming and assisting all of God’s children, particularly those fleeing violence, oppression and poverty, Pope Francis said. Addressing the 300 … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
Staff Report Roughly 450 youth, 100 chaperones, 65 parents and 35 volunteers took part in “CHOSEN: Called to be More” at Good Shepherd Nov. 8. The four-and-a-half-hour youth rally included Mass, exposition, music and talks led by NET Ministries. Parents … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
Among the most recognizable voices of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is Matt Swaim. As host of the Son Rise Morning Show on Sacred Heart Radio, Swaim is heard nationally on EWTN affiliate stations each morning, before hosting a local hour … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service WASHINGTON — As millions of immigrants celebrate the possibility of protection from deportation under a new Obama administration plan, among those who cannot take advantage of it will be the 68,445 families and 68,541 … Continue reading → 26 min 35 sec
By Patricia Zapor Catholic News Service  WASHINGTON — A table spread with the components of Thanksgiving dinner, with the White House as a backdrop, set the scene Nov. 19 for what would turn out to be a last-minute pitch to … Continue reading → 1 day 26 min
By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio will not be forced to shut down a Cincinnati abortion clinic after the Ohio Department of Health granted the abortion provider a variance, allowing it to remain open despite … Continue reading → 1 day 26 min
By Catholic News Service  CHICAGO — At his installation as the ninth archbishop of Chicago Nov. 18, Archbishop Blase J.Cupich urged the congregation at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral to fearlessly share their faith recognizing that God calls them “to more” … Continue reading → 2 days 26 min
Staff Report Parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the nation will take up collections this weekend for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Today’s Throwback Thursday heralds the announcement of said campaign in 1969, but under a different name. … Continue reading → 2 days 26 min
Staff Report The Family and Respect Life Office (FARLO) of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has launched a web page dedicated to the World Meeting of Families schedule to take place Sept. 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia. Pope Francis announced in a … Continue reading → 2 days 26 min
By Judith Sudilovsky Catholic News Service  JERUSALEM (CNS) — After an early morning synagogue attack left four Israelis dead and eight injured Nov. 18, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal called for an end to all violence in the Holy Land. “We … Continue reading → 2 days 26 min

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Tristate Catholic news and features, daily
Posted
Fast becoming a West Side tradition, the  Advent Lessons & Carols Concert at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church (Bridgetown/Cincinnati) is scheduled for Dec. 14. Dr. Michael Match will lead the St. Al’s Chamber Orchestra and 47-voice choir.

Fast becoming a West Side tradition, the Advent Lessons & Carols Concert at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church (Bridgetown/Cincinnati) is scheduled for Dec. 14. Dr. Michael Match will lead the St. Al’s Chamber Orchestra and 47-voice choir.

Some area Advent events:

Nov. 24; Dec 1, 8 and 15, Lunch with the Lord presented by Fr. Mark Burger at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral’s Synod Hall, noon – 1 pm. Musicians will provide accompaniment for this special Advent Scripture study. Bring your own lunch (drinks available for purchase); parking is available in the pay lot at  for $4 and at the meters for $2 per hour.

Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16: St. Teresa (Springfield, OH) Advent Mission. Four weekly sessions will explore “Teresian Prayer,” Carmelite spirituality, and some of great Carmelite saints. Light refreshments. 7 pm; no fee.

Nov. 28-Dec. 23, “The Reason for the Season” Franciscan Friars at Northgate Mall. For the second year in a row, Franciscan friars will visit with shoppers in a storefront by Macy’s for prayer and quiet time during the busy shopping season. “Brown” Friday hours 10 am – 9 pm. Sat: 10 am – 9 pm. Sun: noon -6 pm. Weekdays: 6-9 pm.

Nov. 29 – Jan. 4th, Creche Display at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral (Cincinnati). Twenty-five creches from around the world, borrowed from the University of Dayton’s colllection, will be on display. Tours available. Hours: noon – 6 pm Sundays; noon – 4 pm Monday-Saturday. For information cal (513) 421-6354.

Nov. 29-Jan. 25, “At the Manger: And Now the World” exhibit at Roesch Gallery, University of Dayton. All-new display of Nativities from the Marian Library collection highlighting pieces from the Judy and Bob Davis collection. Open during library hours.

Nov. 29-Jan. 25, “Crèche Creation Contest” exhibit at seventh floor Marian Library Crèche Museum, University of Dayton. NEW! Nativities created by the Dayton-area Catholic and Christian schoolchildren for this year’s first-ever competition. Winners announced 4 pm Nov. 29. Open during library hours.

Nov. 29, Opening of “A Global Village” exhibit at seventh floor Marian Library Crèche Museum, University of Dayton. The exhibit, which runs throughout 2015, features the first-ever display of a French Provençal village built around 150 large, beautifully clothed Provençal Nativity figures from the estate of the Rev. John P. LaCasse.  Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 25.

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra will present their annual Christmas Concert Dec. 7th, featuring the full orchestra, CMO Vocal Ensemble, CMO Children's Chorus... and a visit from Santa Claus.

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra will present their annual Christmas Concert Dec. 7th, featuring the full orchestra, CMO Vocal Ensemble, CMO Children’s Chorus… and a visit from Santa Claus.

Nov. 29, Opening of “Christmas Between Beauty and Beast” exhibit at seventh floor Marian Library Crèche Museum, University of Dayton. The exhibit, which runs throughout 2015, contrasts  Nativities by Hummel, Boehm and Lladró with Expressionist art. Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 25.

Nov 30, Dec 1, Saint Cecilia (Oakley/Cincinnati) Advent Mission with Msgr. Frank Lane, 7 pm. Msgr. Lane will speak about the Eucharist; the Nov. 30th talk will be about its Old Testament roots and the Dec. 1st talk will focus on on the Eucharist in the life of the modern Christian. No fee; all welcome.

Nov. 30, Advent Lessons and Carols service at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral (Cincinnati), 3 pm. Part of the Great Music in a Great Space 20th anniversary season. The annual Advent Carol Service sung by the Choir of Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral featues seasonal choral music with the O Antiphon chants and handbells, Marks the beginning of the Advent season. Free to public, no tickets required. Free-will offerings accepted.

Dec. 1, Advent Evening of Recollection at Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati), 7pm. Join Old St. Mary’s (www.oldstmarys.org) and the Oratory-in-Formation (www.spncincinnati.com) for an Advent Evening of Recollection. Gather in the Church for Evening Oratory and move to Fr. Felten Hall for an Advent talk; evening concludes with Benediction in the Church at 9 pm. There will be an opportunity for prayer and confession.

Dec 2, 9, 16: Come Home Program at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington). Catholics who have been away from the Church for any amount of time and for any reason are invited to the Diocese of Covington’s Come Home program for three consecutive Tuesdays at 7 pm. Meets at the cathedral’s parish office.  For information call Sr. Barbara at (859) 431-2060.

St. Cecilia Church's (Oakley/CincinnatI) Advent Mission is one of many are missions, talks, and retreats this Advent.

St. Cecilia Church’s (Oakley/CincinnatI) Advent Mission is one of many are missions, talks, and retreats this Advent.

Dec. 2, Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, KY) 9th Annual Winter Wonderland for Children, 4-7 pm. Crafts, games, a live Nativity, Santa Claus. No fee.

Dec. 3-Jan. 4, “The All-American Crèche” at the Gallery St. John at Mount Saint John (Dayton, OH). A selection of Nativities from the United States from the Marian Library collection. Hours and days vary; call (937) 320-5405 or visit www.GalleryStJohn.

Dec. 4, “One Hour Advent Retreat” at St Teresa of Avila Parish (Price Hill/Cincinnati), 7 pm. Presented by St Veronica pastor Fr Del Staigers. For information call 513.921.9200.

Dec. 4, Fifth Annual Angel Night at Historic Calvary Cemetery (Dayton, OH), 5:30 – 9 pm. Angel monuments at Dayton’s famous garden cemetery will be illuminated for night tours. Music, more. For information call (937) 293-1221.

Dec. 5-6 “Go to Joseph” Advent Retreat for Men at St. Gertrude parish (Madeira, OH). Retreat Master Fr. Giles Dimock, OP,  taught for 40 years both in Rome and Steubenville, A former columnist for the National Catholic Register, he has appeared numerous time on EWTN. Fee: $70 (includes the conference, overnight accommodations, and meals). To register contact Stan Lloyd  at stan.lloyd@gmail.com.

Dec. 6, Pilgrimage of Faith North Trail Advent Hike. Destination: the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics. Individuals and groups welcome. Download the trail flier and map here. Hike at your own pace.

Members of McAuley High School's award-winning Vocal Ensemble with guests at last year's Tea Party for little girls and their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.

Members of McAuley High School’s award-winning Vocal Ensemble with guests at last year’s Tea Party for little girls and their mothers, grandmothers, and aunts.

Dec. 6, McAuley Christmas Tea Party, McAuley High School (College Hill/Cincinnati) 1 – 2:30 pm. Little girls and their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends are invited to McAuley High School’s version of high tea: dress in your holiday finery and enjoy goodies, crafts, Christmas carols by McAuley’s award-winning Vocal Ensemble, and a visit with a special guest. Tickets $15 for adults, $10 for girls, and dolls are free! Regiser online at www.mcauleyhs.net/tea2014. Questions? Contact Brigitte Foley at foleyb@live.mcauleyhs.net.

Dec. 6, Annual Fair Trade Sale at St. Peter Church (Huber Heights, OH), 9 am – 4 pm. Home decor, jewelry, food, clothes, free entertainment, more. Benefits Catholic Relief Services; sponsored by Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley.

Dec. 7 -11, Advent Online Discernment Retreat with the Daughters of Charity. For single Catholic women ages 18-40 discerning religious life, Meet on Skype, email or phone with a retreat director where you are, on your time. For information contact Sr. Virginia Ann Brooks at sistervirginiaann.brooks@doc.org or (812) 963-7559.

Dec. 7, Annual Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 3 pm.  Cathedral Basilica Bishop’s Choir; Gregory Schaffer, Organist and Conductor. Scripture and song foretell of the coming Nativity. A Cathedral Concert Series event; no fee (donations accepted).

Dec. 7, “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra Concert at Seton Performance Hall (Price Hill/Cincinnati). This performance will include classic and modern holiday selections, audience sing-a-longs, and a special appearance by Santa himself! Celebate the season with the CMO, the CMO Vocal Ensemble and the CMO Children’s Chorus. From “Sleigh Ride” to “O Holy Night”, this concert offers something for everyone – and you won’t want to miss the extra special finale, “Jingle Bells Forever.” No fee. For more information see  www.gocmo.org.

Dec. 7, Glenmary Home Missioners Concert featuring the Cincinnati Brass Band at St. John Neumann Church (Fairfield, OH), 2 pm. Holiday music, refreshments. For information call Jodi Mott at (513) 881-7440.

Dec. 7, Advent Concert of traditional and contemporary hymns at Holy Trinity Church in Batavia, 2 pm. Free one-hour concert. For information call 513.732.2218.

Dec. 8, University of Dayton Christmas on Campus and Feast of the Immaculate Conception Mass. Annual service day for nearly all students and faculty, an annual tradition for many families throughout Dayton. Music, crafts, food, tree lighting, visit from Santa, more.

Dec. 8, Missa Cantata (sung Latin Mass according to the Extraordinary Form) for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at Holy Trinity Church in Batavia, 7 pm. For information call 513.732.2218.

comboni nativity with children

Visitors to the Comboni Nativity Experience, which features large-scale dioramas.

Dec. 12, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at San Carlos Borromeo/St. Charles Borromeo Church (Carthage/Cincinnati). 5 – 7 am: Las mananitas of the Virgin of Guadalupe, followed by a social with hot chocolate and pan dulce; 7 pm: Mass, Bringing the Roses; Social.

December 13, Solemn Traditional Rorate Mass at Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati), 6:45am. The Rorate Mass is a German tradition of celebrating a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin early in the morning completely by candlelight. As daylight approaches and surpasses the shadows of the candles, we anticipate the entrance of Christ, the Light of the World, into our darkened earth at Christmas. Mass will be in the Extraordinary Form (traditional Latin Mass). For more information see www.oldstmarys.org

Dec. 14, Musica Sacra Christmas Concert at Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati), 3 pm. Selections include Schutz: Magnificat and Hodie Christus Natus Est; Hassler: Dixit Maria and Verbum Caro Factus Est; Hammerschmidt: Mache die Tore weit. No fee (donations accepted).

Dec. 14, “Season of Wonders” Advent Lessons & Carols Concert at  St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church (Bridgetown/Cincinnati), 4 pm. Dr. Michael Match will lead the St. Al’s Chamber Orchestra and 47-voice choir in this program composed by Joseph Martin, perfect for Gaudete Sunday. Fast becoming a West-side tradition! No fee. For information call 513-574-4840.

Dec. 14 – 30 (except Christmas day), 67th Annual Comboni Nativity Experience at the Comboni Mission Center (Anderson Twp., OH). Animated Nativity display with recorded Nativity story (Spanish language version now available). Sun-Friday: 6-9 pm. Sat: 4-9 pm. Christmas Eve: 4-7 pm. Visit the Mission Museum and shop at the Mission Market. For information click here.

Dec. 14, Opening Night of the 67th Annual Comboni Nativity Experience at the Comboni Mission Center (Anderson Twp., OH) 4 – 9 pm. Mission Museum open; Mission Market and Holiday Boutique.

Old St. Mary's Church, the oldest church building in the region, hosts all-night Adoration, other special liturgical events, and concerts such as this "Musical Oratory" last fall. An emphasis on beautiy and mystery make it a destination for young Catholics attracted to art and urban life.

Old St. Mary’s Church, the oldest church building in the region, will host a “Musical Oratory” Dec. 16th with pieces in English, German and Latin; the evening ends with Benediction.

Dec. 15, Laetare Sacred Music Youth Choir Christmas Concert at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH), 7 pm. Light refreshments follow; no fee.

December 16, Musical Oratory for Advent at Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati), 7pm. An evening of choral reflection on Sacred Scripture concluding with Benediction. Choral pieces will be in English, German, and Latin by composers including Bach, Praetorius, and Duruflé.Sponsored by the Oratory-in-Formation in Cincinnati (www.spncincinnati.com) and Old St. Mary’s Church (www.oldstmarys.org).

Dec. 17 – 23 Posadas at San Carlo Borromeo/St. Charles Borromeo parish (Carthage/Cincinnati), 6:30 pm. Sponsored each night by a different parish group; brief reflection in church followed by posada in gym. Dec. 20 (Friday): Penitential Celebration until 8 pm.

Dec, 17th,“The Perfect Storm” Advent Concert with prayer, music and scripture at St. Teresa of Avila Parish (Price Hill/Cincinnati), 7 pm. Featuring popular performer Mike Davis. For information call 513.921.9200.

Dec. 24, Every Catholic Church in the World: Christmas Eve Mass.

Dec. 25, Every Catholic Church in the World: Christmas Day Mass.

For more Catholic events, see our Events page.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, please share it. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

UD's Christmas on Campus is a tradition for hundreds of area families, and the country's largest repeating college service event.

UD’s Christmas on Campus is a tradition for hundreds of area families, and the country’s largest repeating college service event.

2 hours 11 min

emmanuel church dayton

From the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in union with the Catholic Church around the world, will celebrate members of religious orders and others in consecrated life during the Year of Consecrated Life called by Pope Francis from Nov. 30, 2014 to Feb. 2, 2016.

The theme for the celebration in the Archdiocese, reflecting the Pope’s goals for the Year, is “Celebrating the Past, Serving in the Present, Embracing the Future.”

“Each of us has a call from God, and discovering God’s call for us will bring joy to our life,” said Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. “Religious life/consecrated life is a viable option.”

The objectives he has approved for the Archdiocesan observance of the Year are to:

  • increase the visibility of religious life / consecrated life;
  • express appreciation;
  • highlight the joy experienced in this vocational choice;
  • educate about religious life / consecrated life.

“The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has a long and rich history of welcoming religious communities,” Archbishop Schnurr said, noting as examples that the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are celebrating 175 years and the Poor Clare Sisters 25 years in the Archdiocese in 2015.

“Today 34 different Congregations of women and 12 different Congregations of brothers and priests minister in the Archdiocese – approximately 226 priests, 114 brothers, and 781 sisters. We are also blessed with the presence of Secular Institutes, public (Regnum Christi) and private associations (Children of Mary) of the faithful, and a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World. All of those are examples of the consecrated life.”

In addition to parish-wide observances, there will be two Archdiocesan events to mark the Year of Consecrated Life. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer will preside at the opening Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 30, at Emmanuel Church in Dayton. Archbishop Schnurr will preside at the closing Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati.

For more Catholic events, see our Events page.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, please share it. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

2 hours 15 min
greeting cards st henry

Happy Thanksgiving from the second graders at St. Henry School in Elsmere (KY), posing here with greeting cards they made in computer class.

Second graders at St. Henry School in Elsmere (KY) show off the greeting cards they made in computer class, just in time for Thanksgiving.

You can see all our 1000 Words photos at once: Click on “1000 Words” in the menu at the top of the page, or click here. To submit a photo, send it to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy St. Henry School.

Please share this feature. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

2 hours 16 min
The ICF's Advent calendar page includes a link on each date to art, suggested readings, recipes and celebration ideas, prayers, and more.

The ICF’s Advent calendar page includes a link on each date to art, suggested readings, recipes and celebration ideas, prayers, and more.

Greater Cincinnati’s own Institute for Christian Formation (ICF), which creates and disseminates information about every day of the liturgical year, offers schools, families, parishes, and individuals a comprehensive Advent resource available on their desktops.

The Advent/Christmas Calendar page on the ICF website presents all the days of Advent in one place. Click on any day for its own page offering information about the saint or event celebrated that day — including short videos, artwork, suggested recipes, biographies, and more.

For instance, the page for Dec. 15th, an Advent weekday, includes a link to the day’s readings for Mass, a discussion and medieval drawing of the patriarch Jacob, a suggestion about and printable template for a craft project, a book recommendation, and a suggestion for an activity at the evening’s lighting of the Advent wreath.

The page for Dec. 9th, the Feast of St. Juan Diego, includes a biography and painting of the saint, a link to the page for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a short video recounting of his story, links to more information and to a site where you can purchase an image of him, and a video showing how to make flan, a traditional Mexican dessert.

Created in 2004, the Institute provides daily catechetical “resources for living Faith at home, at church, or at school.” Its founder and director is Dr. Sandra Chakeres, a catechist, speaker and writer who holds a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Dayton and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.

The site’s specialties are aids in celebrating feasts and seasons of the Church year, and “a deeper awareness of ritual and gesture” at Mass and other liturgies. The ICF also makes daily posts on feast days and other topics in the liturgical year through its Facebook page. Both the site and Facebook page are updated weekly, so that users can consult it year after year.

The Advent page is changed  every years so that school and homeschool teachers, parents, and others don’t have to look for a new resource to consult for each Christmas.

“This calendar is a go-to source for information and resources about Seasons and Saints, Scripture, Church Teaching, Prayer, Traditional Activities and Recipes, and much more,” says Dr. Chakares. “Geared to a wide-based audience, there is something for everyone: families, parishes, individuals, children, teens, adults, catechists and school teachers, colleges and youth ministry.”

“The Institute for Christian Formation contains a wealth of information on the Catholic faith and affords wonderful suggestions to enhance personal spirituality and Church ministry,” says Fr. Bob Hater, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Dayton, professor of pastoral and systematic theology at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the East, and an internationally known developer of catechetical materials and methods.

“Centered in the Word of God and the Church’s liturgical seasons, it is a great vehicle to deepen one’s personal spirituality as well as enhance catechetical and liturgical worship. Solidly based in Catholic teaching and practice, it is a treasure trove for parish ministers and parents. The daily calendar of liturgical feasts allows the reader to go through the liturgical seasons and learn more about Jesus, Mary, and the saints. The practical nature of what is written manifests the wisdom and experience of Sandra Chakeres, the publisher. In these days of the new evangelization, the Institute offers many suggestions on how to deepen and share the love of Jesus in today’s world.”

Click here to see all our current stories.

Please share this story. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

1 day 2 hours
The Covington Catholic Colonels invite all basketball alumni to the annual Blue/White scrimmage this evening.

The Covington Catholic Colonels invite all basketball alumni to the annual Blue/White scrimmage this evening.

Kentucky state basketball champions the Covington Catholic Colonels invite all alumni players to its annual Blue/White Scrimmage tonight.

“Fresh off the school’s first basketball state championship, this year’s team is chomping at the bit to hit the hardwood,” say organizers. Last week SA Today named the Colonels the #2 in Region 9, behind Newport Central Catholic.

The Park Hills high school will begin its freshman team scrimmage at 6 pm and the JV and Varsity teams will play at 7.

A coaches meet and greet with appetizers and drinks will immediately follow.

Photo courtesy Covington Catholic High School.

For all our current stories, click here for our home page.  To see all our school stories in one place, click here.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, please share it. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

1 day 2 hours
Members of Moeller's first 50th anniversary class, the   Class of 1964, pose after Mass celebrated by a graduate of that class, Fr. Ron Piepmeyer. Click to enlarge.

Members of Moeller’s first 50th anniversary class, the Class of 1964, pose after Mass celebrated by a graduate of that class, Fr. Ron Piepmeyer. Click any photo to enlarge.

Archbishop Moeller High School celebrated its first 50th class reunion this month, welcoming graduates back with open arms at the Montgomery (OH) school’s annual alumni reunion.

The weekend of celebrations kicked off with a Friday morning alumni golf outing for more than 80, followed by a tailgate before the Moeller vs. Elder football game that evening. The Class of 1964 was recognized at halftime for starting a tradition of excellence at Moeller for years to come.

Fiftieth Reunion festivities concluded Saturday with an intimate Mass celebrated by a fellow member of the class of 1964, Fr. Ron Peipmeyer, and a reception.

A host of events for different reunion groups gave alumni the opportunity to reconnect with their Moeller family. Mary Fischer, Director of Alumni Engagement, summed up the weekend: “Moeller has such strong traditions of excellence in all areas and never is it more prevalent than when reunion classes return and speak of their strong affinity for their school that had such an impact on so many lives.”

Dennis Cronin, a member of the 50th anniversary class, says being a member of the school’s first graduating class was an adventure.  “None of us knew when we started school that day in September 1960 that we were setting the trend for so many young men that would come after us and walk in those same doors as meek little freshman, and walk out four years later as proud Men of Moeller!”

Named for the fourth Archbishop of Cincinnati, the school was established by Archbishop Karl Alter and was originally run by the Marianists, who continue to sponsor the school today. More than 10,000 young men have graduated since 1964.

Photos courtesy Archbishop Moeller High School.

For all our current stories, click here for our home page.  To see all our school stories in one place, click here.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, please share it. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

Members of the first graduating class of Moeller High School  who came back from other cities and states for their 50th reunion.

Members of the first graduating class of Moeller High School who came back from other cities and states for their 50th reunion.

2 days 2 hours
Teens at St. Joe Youth Community of Wakaponeta (OH) made posters and listened to talks about hunger as part of its annual 30 Hour Fast retreat. Click any photo to enlarge.

Teens at St. Joe Youth Community of Wakaponeta (OH) made posters and listened to talks about hunger as part of its annual 30 Hour Fast retreat. Click any photo to enlarge.

Seven Wapakoneta (OH) teens spent a weekend retreat this month being hungry on purpose.

30 hour famine graphicThe yearly 30-hour fast/retreat at St. Joseph Catholic Church for the St. Joe Youth Community of Wapakoneta is one of many regular events for the active youth group. It included talks, prayer, devotions, and activities centered on solidarity with hungry people around the world. This year’s theme was “Patience, Temptation, Self-Control, Desire.”

Fr. Daniel Hunt from the Petersburg Parish Region led Friday Adoration with the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Benediction.

The teens (plus several more who could attend only part of the weekend event) made posters and also “affirmation bags” for to leave positive notes for each other.

Their verse for the weekend:

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Photos courtesy St. Joe Youth Community of Wapakoneta.

Click here to see all our current stories.

Please share this story. To get local Catholic news, features and photos every day in your inbox, subscribe in the box at the top of every page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

Fr. Daniel Hunt led Adoration.

Fr. Daniel Hunt led Adoration.

2 days 2 hours
Members of the UC Society of St. Paul, with Fr. Todd Grogan, and their letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's representative.

Members of the UC Society of St. Paul, with Fr. Todd Grogan, and their letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s representative. Click to enlarge.

Members of the UC Society of St. Paul, a Catholic student group that meets at Annunciation Church in Clifton (OH), pose with a letter they received this month from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in reply to a letter they sent him. It came with photos for all 19 students who signed the original letter. The students sent their letter in German, the former pope’s native language, and the response was also German. Here is the group’s translation:

From the Vatican, on the 15th of October, 2014
Dear young friends,

I hereby confirm the reception of your letter in which you manifest your recognition and appreciation to His Holiness Benedict XVI. for his person and his service for the Church. In your letter you tell about your common life together as Catholic students at the University of Cincinnati.

I thank you all in his name for your friendly words. He encourages you to continue to help with fervor through true prayer and missionary engagement, that the message and love of Christ reaches all people. Perhaps the Lord is also calling some of you into his (Benedict’s) special succession. As a sign of his spiritual communion I am putting some pictures of His Holiness with this letter.

In his life in prayer and seclusion, Benedict XVI is also gladly including you and your requests as well as your work in the New Evangelization in his prayer and asks you and all people who stand close to you for support and the special blessing of the merciful God for the present and future.

With best wishes and friendly greetings

Prelate Peter B. Wells
Assessor

You can see all our 1000 Words photos at once: Click on “1000 Words” in the menu at the top of the page, or click here. To submit a photo, send it to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com.

Photo courtesy the UC Society of St. Paul.

 

Click here to see all our current stories.

 

If you’ve enjoyed this feature, please use the “share” buttons to forward it to friends — and please subscribe at the box at the top of the page or send a request to TheCatholicBeat@gmail.com to get our stories in your inbox every day.

2 days 2 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: CWN provides reliable world news and commentary from a Catholic perspective, availble exclusively at CatholicCulture.org.
Posted
Cardinal Robert Sarah is visiting Haiti this week, to mark the 5th anniversary of an earthquake that devastated the country and caused over 200,000 deaths. Cardinal Sarah--who was named ... 10 hours 24 min
In an exchange with reporters on his return flight to Rome on November 25, after addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Pope Francis said that dialogue with terrorists is ... 10 hours 31 min
Spanish police have arrested four Catholic priests in connection with a sex-abuse scandal in Granada. The arrests are the product of an investigation that began "some time ago," ... 10 hours 40 min
Speaking in his capacity of president of the Commission of Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), Cardinal Reinhard Marx told reporters that the November 25 address by Pope ... 11 hours 24 min
In an afternoon meeting with leaders of the Council of Europe on November 25, Pope Francis recalled the roots of the European Union and challenged political leaders to promote peace ... 11 hours 30 min
A leading gay-rights group is targeting several Catholic bishops, hoping to influence the results of the 2015 Synod of Bishops, the National Catholic Register reports. The Human Rights ... 11 hours 46 min
Islamic State fighters have blown up a Catholic convent in Mosul, Iraq, the AsiaNews service reports. The convent had housed the Chaldean Catholic Sisters of the Sacred Heart, who had ... 11 hours 57 min
In a major address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Pope Francis called for a Europe "which revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person." "My ... 20 hours 19 min
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has called upon the nation to spend $1.5 billion more each year to ensure that all schools have high-speed Internet access. The ... 21 hours 28 min
Members of al-Shabaab, the Somali-based jihadist terrorist group, attacked a bus in northeastern Kenya on November 22 and murdered 28 non-Muslims. "The non-Somali passengers were then ... 21 hours 45 min
Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes of Managua has called for greater transparency from the regime of Daniel Ortega about the Nicaragua Canal. Construction on the $40-billion canal, which will ... 21 hours 56 min
Violence flared in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer who shot a teenager in August. "I and other religious and civic leaders have repeatedly ... 22 hours 11 min
Vatican Radio has interviewed Cardinal Raymond Burke, the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, on the sacred liturgy. "What happened after the [Second Vatican] Council was ... 22 hours 21 min
Pope Francis met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during a November 24 audience at the Vatican. Sisi, a general, helped oust the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi from ... 22 hours 29 min
Pope Francis traveled across Rome on Monday afternoon, November 24, to visit the basilica of St. Mary Major and pray silently before the famous image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi ... 1 day 11 hours
The number of Christians in China now outnumbers the number of Communists, writes Steven Mosher for the Aleteia site. Mosher, who heads the Population Research Institute, reports that ... 1 day 12 hours
A Dutch Catholic woman has captured headlines by reporting that she had traveled into the Islamic State to rescue her teenage daughter, who had flown to Syria to marry an Islamic ... 1 day 12 hours
Pope Francis met on November 24 with a group of pilgrims from India, members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, who had traveled to Rome for the canonization of two Indian saints, which ... 1 day 12 hours
Pakistan's Supreme Court has called upon the government to press forward with a full investigation into the lynching of a Christian couple. Shahzad Masih and Sharma Bibi were burned to ... 1 day 12 hours
The American Jesuit priest who was recently appointed as the Vatican's top prosecutor in sex-abuse cases was involved in the handling of complaints against a notorious abusive priest, the ... 1 day 15 hours
Moving to defuse a potential controversy, the president of the Italian Catholic bishops' conference has said that he was not disagreeing with Pope Francis when he said that the sacraments ... 1 day 16 hours
Pope Francis spoke on November 22 about the need "to break through the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma that burdens people affected by autism spectrum disorders, and frequently ... 1 day 16 hours
Pope Francis met on November 24 with ranking Vatican officials, to discuss proposals for an overhaul of the Roman Curia. The meeting was called to brief the officials on proposals that ... 1 day 16 hours
Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the ... 1 day 20 hours
Pope Francis canonized six saints during a Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Square on November 23. Two of the saints were members of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic ... 1 day 21 hours
Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, who led the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers from 1985 to 1996, died on November 22. He had been the oldest living member of ... 1 day 21 hours
Pope Francis received participants in the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on November 22 and urged them continually to turn to their founding charism and ... 1 day 22 hours
Pope Francis met with participants in Italy's National Missionary Congress on November 22 and urged them to proclaim the Gospel to everyone. The Pontiff began by recalling that Jonah ... 1 day 22 hours
Pope Francis met with Giorgio Napolitano, Italy's president since 2006, in a "strictly private" meeting, according to an announcement from Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the ... 1 day 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From:
Posted
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis answered a range of questions from journalists on the Papal plane en route to Rome at the conclusion of his short trip to Strasbourg. Listen to Ann Schneible’s report: One journalist asked the Pope if he considers himself a social democrat after having told the European parliament that the strength of a nation is removed in the face of multi-national powers. Pope Francis laughed and said he felt with the question as though he were being studied as one studies a collection of insects. He said he did not know if the Pope identified as a social democrat or not, but that his own message was drawn from the social doctrine of the Church, which is self which comes from the Gospel. Having spoken about the threats of terrorism and slavery in Strasbourg, Pope Francis also told journalists to never give up on dialogue. He condemned slavery and affirmed that terrorism must be fought. However, he warned against the terrorism of states, and stressed that an international consensus is needed to stop any unjust aggressor. (from Vatican Radio)... 11 hours 23 min
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday told European leaders that the development of today’s societies and their peaceful coexistence require constant reflection on the tenets that form the basis of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  Like a tree, Europe also needs care and nourishment for healthy growth.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Pope Francis also urged Europe’s leaders to strive for creative solutions to divisions and tensions for a peaceful continent.  The Pope’s remarks came shortly after his first speech of the day, to the European Parliament.  Tracey McClure reports: The Council of Europe was established in 1949, on the heels of two world wars, with the dream, the Pope recalled, for unity and “to rebuild Europe in a spirit of mutual service which today too, in a world prone to make demands than to serve, must be the cornerstone of the Council of Europe’s mission on behalf of peace, freedom and human dignity.” The key to avoiding a repetition of what happened in the wars of the last century, Pope Francis said, is “to see others not as enemies to be opposed but as brothers and sisters to be embraced.”  Peace, he added, must be “continually attained” and requires “constant vigilance.” “Achieving peace first calls for educating to peace, banishing a culture of conflict aimed at fear of others, marginalizing those who think or live differently than ourselves.” The Pope observed that “a great toll of suffering and death is still being exacted on this continent, which yearns for peace yet so easily falls back in to the temptations of the past.”  He encouraged the Council of Europe to continue its efforts to seek a political solution to the current crisis. Peace, the Pope stressed, is also tested by other forms of conflict such as religious and international terrorism, which show a disdain for human life. Terrorism, he added, is “bankrolled by a frequently unchecked traffic in weapons” and the “arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race.”  The Pope also lamented the “new slavery of our age,” or human trafficking, as yet another interconnected phenomenon affecting peace. While the European Parliament acts as the EU’s legislative body, the Council of Europe acts in an advisory capacity.  Its 47 member states, representing 820 million citizens, commit to common initiatives and conventions on social, justice and other issues such as combatting human trafficking.  It’s also home to the European Court of Human Rights which the Pope described as in some way representing the “conscience of Europe.”  He said he hoped “this conscience will continue to mature…as the result of efforts to build on those deep roots which are the bases on which the founders of contemporary Europe determined to build.” In fact, in his speech, the Pope likened Europe to a poplar tree: its branches reaching up to the sky, its trunk firmly rooted in the earth.  Historically, Europe has reached for the heights in an insatiable thirst for knowledge, progress, peace and unity, Pope Francis said.  But the advance of thought, culture and scientific discovery, the Pope stressed, is entirely due to the solidity of the trunk and the depth of the roots which nourish it. Once the roots are lost, the trunk withers and the branches fall to earth and the tree dies.  Europe’s roots need to be “sought, found and maintained by a daily exercise of memory, for they represent the genetic patrimony of Europe,” said the Pope, and “continual creativity” is needed to ensure that “the roots continue to bear fruit” to face the challenges of today. As Europe struggles to find answers to the challenges of a “multipolar” society made up of “multiple cultural, religious and political poles,” the Pope warned against “pretensions to power which, while appearing from a pragmatic standpoint to make things easier, end up destroying the cultural and religious distinctiveness of peoples.” He applauded the Council of Europe’s efforts in the area of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and said such initiatives  “appear particularly important” for finding the right harmony between “the European identity forged over the course of centuries” and “the expectations and aspirations of other peoples who are now making their appearance on the continent.” Another challenge to Europe, the Pope observed, is what he called its “transversality.”  And here, he spoke of his own experience from meeting political leaders: younger politicians, he said, view reality differently than their older colleagues – and this sort of transversality is found in every sector.  The answer to this challenge, the Pope noted, is “intergenerational dialogue” and “a  Europe which can only dialogue with limited groups stops halfway: it needs that youthful spirit which can rise to the challenge of transversality.” Today, society is at risk of an “individualistic conception of rights” the Pope asserted, which leads to a “lack of concern for others and favours that globalization of indifference born of selfishness.” “This cuts off the nourishing roots on which the tree grows,” he added, and leads to “the cult of opulence reflected in the throwaway culture all around us.”  “We have a surfeit of unnecessary things, but we no longer have the capacity to build authentic human relationships.” Europe today, the Pope observed, appears “hurt,” “a bit tired” and “pessimistic” by its past ordeals but also by its present crises and “the winds of change coming from other continents” and “which it no longer seems capable of facing with its former vitality and energy.” “Europe should reflect on whether its immense human, artistic, technical, social, political, economic and religious patrimony is simply an artefact of the past or whether it is still capable of inspiring culture and displaying it treasures” to all mankind.  The Council of Europe, he noted, can play a key role here. Christianity can contribute to the cultural and social development of Europe today, the Pope asserted, “within the context of a correct relationship between religion and society.” “In the Christian vision, faith and reason, religion and society are called to enlighten and support one another, and whenever necessary, to purify one another from ideological extremes,” said the Pope.  “European society as a whole cannot fail to benefit from a renewed interplay between these two sectors, whether to confront a form of religious fundamentalism which is above all inimical to God, or to remedy a reductive rationality which does no honour to man.” The Catholic Church, he stressed, can cooperate through its institutions with the Council of Europe “for mutual enrichment,” particularly in the area of human rights and the protection of human life.  The Holy See, the Pope concluded, “intends to continue its cooperation with the Council of Europe which today plays a fundamental role in shaping the mentality of future generations of Europeans.  “This calls for mutual engagement in a far-ranging reflection aimed at creating a sort of new agorà in which all civic and religious groups can enter into free exchange…an exchange inspired purely by the desire of truth and the advancement of the common good.” “My hope is that Europe, by rediscovering the legacy of its history and the depth of its roots, and by embracing its lively multipolarity and the phenomenon of a transversality in dialogue, will rediscover that youthfulness of spirit which has made this continent fruitful and great.” (from Vatican Radio)... 11 hours 23 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on a “haggard” and “lonely” Europe to recover its role as a world protagonist, its identity as a defender of the transcendent dignity of man, the poor, the migrant, the persecuted, the old and the young, to recover its soul: Christianity. Emer McCarthy reports:  In a lengthy address – the first of two on his one day visit to the heart of Europe –  he told members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that a two-thousand-year-old history links Europe and Christianity, “not free of conflicts or errors, but driven by the desire to work for the good of all”. This “is our present and our future.  It is our identity”, he said The Pope also urged Europe’s 500 million citizens to see the Union’s problems – economic stagnation, unemployment, immigration, rising poverty levels and a growing polarization -  as a “force for unity” to overcome fears and mutual mistrust. “Dignity” he said was the pivotal concept in the process of rebuilding which followed the Second World War and led to the European project. Today it remains central to the commitment of the European Union. But Pope Francis warned, often the concept of human rights is misunderstood and misused.  He pointed to tendency to uphold the rights of the individual, “without regard for the fact that each human being is part of a social context wherein his or her rights and duties are bound up with those of others and with the common good of society itself”.          Transcendent human dignity – the Pope continued - means regarding human beings not as absolutes, but as beings in relation .  He spoke of a Europe rampant with the disease of loneliness a direct result of the trend towards individualism. He said the economic crisis has worsened this pervasive loneliness and nourished a growing mistrust in people towards institutions considered aloof and bureaucratic.  The Pope spoke of the unsustainable opulence of selfish lifestyles amid indifference to the poorest of the poor, where technical and economic questions dominate political debate, to the detriment of genuine concern for human beings. This – the Pope noted –reduces human life to being a “cog in a machine” which, if no longer useful, can be “discarded with few qualms, as in the case of the terminally ill, the elderly who are abandoned and uncared for, and children who are killed in the womb”. This – Pope Francis said quoting Benedict XVI - is the great mistake made “when technology is allowed to take over”; the result is a confusion between ends and means”. The future of Europe – added Pope Francis - depends on the recovery of the vital connection between openness to God and the practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems. The Pope said Christianity is not a threat to secular Europe but rather an enrichment. He said religions can help Europe counter “many forms of extremism” spreading today that are often “a result of the great vacuum of ideals which we are currently witnessing in the West”. Here he decried the “shameful and complicit silence” of many while religious minorities are being “evicted from their homes and native lands, sold as slaves, killed, beheaded, crucified or burned alive”. Pope Francis went on to observe that the motto of the European Union is United in Diversity , but unity, does not mean uniformity. Keeping democracy alive in Europe means avoiding the many globalizing tendencies to dilute reality. Keeping democracies alive is a challenge in the present historic moment, he continued, but  it must not be allowed to collapse under the pressure of multinational interests which are not universal. It means nurturing the gifts of each man and woman; investing in families, the fundamental cell and most precious element of any society; in educational institutes;  in young people today who are asking for a suitable and complete education to help them to look to the future with hope instead of disenchantment.  In areas such as the ecology Europe has always been in the vanguard, the Pope said, while noting that today “millions of people around the world are dying of hunger while tons of food are discarded each day from our tables”.  He also spoke of the need to promote policies that create employment, but above all “restore dignity to labour by ensuring proper working conditions” while avoiding the exploitation of workers and ensuring “their ability to create a family and educate their children”. On the issue of migration Pope Francis called for a united response decrying the lack of a coordinated EU wide effort to adopt policies that assist migrants in their countries of origin and that promote a just and realistic integration: “We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery!” he decried to lengthy applause. Pope Francis concluded: “The time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which is fearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage a Europe of leadership, a repository of science, art, music, human values and faith as well.  A Europe which contemplates the heavens and pursues lofty ideals.  A Europe which cares for, defends and protects man, every man and woman.  A Europe which bestrides the earth surely and securely, a precious point of reference for all humanity!   (from Vatican Radio)... 11 hours 23 min
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday called on Europe’s leaders to work diligently and continuously for creative solutions to divisions and conflict for a peaceful continent.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Pope Francis observed that “peace continues all too often to be violated” in many parts of the world where conflicts “continue to fester.” Tensions also continue to exist on the European continent, the Pope noted, which “yearns for peace but which so easily falls back into the temptations of the past.” The Pope observed that the Council of Europe was established in 1949, on the heels of two world wars, with the dream “to rebuild Europe in a spirit of mutual service which today too, in a world prone to make demands than to serve, must be the cornerstone of the Council of Europe’s mission on behalf of peace, freedom and human dignity.” He urged European leaders to pursue this dream in favour of the common good. The Council of Europe is an advisory rather than a legislative body comprising 47 member states and representing some 820 million citizens.  Also home to the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe provides a venue for cooperation between member states on the basis of common values and common political decisions. Below please find the full text of Pope Francis’ address to the Council of Europe: Mr Secretary General, Madame President Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,             I am happy to address this solemn session which brings together a significant representation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, representatives of member States, the Judges of the European Court of Human Rights as well as the members of the various institutions which make up the Council of Europe.  Practically all of Europe is present in this hall, with its peoples, its languages, its cultural and religious expressions, all of which constitute the richness of this continent.  I am especially grateful to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, for his gracious invitation and for his kind words of welcome.  I greet Madame Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly.  To all of you I offer my heartfelt thanks for your work and for your contribution to peace in Europe through the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.             This year the Council of Europe celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary.  It was the intention of its founders that the Council would respond to a yearning for unity which, from antiquity, has characterized the life of the continent.  Frequently, however, in the course of the centuries, the pretension to power has led to the dominance of particularist movements.  We need but consider the fact that, ten years before the Treaty instituting the Council of Europe was signed in London (5 May 1949), there broke out the most lethal and destructive conflict in the memory of these lands.  The divisions it created long continued, as the so-called Iron Curtain split the continent into two, from the Baltic Sea to the Gulf of Trieste.  The dream of the founders was to rebuild Europe in a spirit of mutual service which today too, in a world more prone to make demands than to serve, must be the cornerstone of the Council of Europe’s mission on behalf of peace, freedom and human dignity.             The royal road to peace – and to avoiding a repetition of what occurred in the two World Wars of the last century – is to see others not as enemies to be opposed but as brothers and sisters to be embraced.  This entails an ongoing process which may never be considered fully completed.  This is precisely what the founders grasped.  They understood that peace was a good which must continually be attained, one which calls for constant vigilance.  They realized that wars arise from the effort to occupy spaces, to crystallize processes and to attempt to halt them.  Instead, the founders sought peace, which can be achieved only when we are constantly open to initiating processes and carrying them forward.             Consequently, the founders voiced their desire to advance slowly but surely with the passage of time, since is it is precisely time which governs spaces, illumines them and makes them links in a constantly expanding chain, with no possibility of return.  Building peace calls for giving priority to actions which generate new processes in society and engage other persons and groups, who can then develop them to the point where they bear fruit in significant historical events.             That is why the founders established this body as a permanent institution.  Pope Paul VI, several years later, had occasion to observe that “the institutions which in the juridical order and in international society have the task and merit of proclaiming and preserving peace, will attain their lofty goal only if they remain continually active, if they are capable of creating peace, making peace, at every moment”.   What is called for is a constant work of humanization, for “it is not enough to contain wars, to suspend conflicts… An imposed peace, a utilitarian and provisional peace, is not enough.  Progress must be made towards a peace which is loved, free and fraternal, founded, that is, on a reconciliation of hearts”;  in other words, to encourage processes calmly, yet with clear convictions and tenacity.             Achieving the good of peace first calls for educating to peace, banishing a culture of conflict aimed at fear of others, marginalizing those who think or live differently than ourselves.  It is true that conflict cannot be ignored or concealed; it has to be faced.  But if it paralyzes us, we lose perspective, our horizons shrink and we grasp only a part of reality.  When we fail to move forward in a situation of conflict, we lose our sense of the profound unity of reality,  we halt history and we become enmeshed in useless disputes.             Tragically, peace continues all too often to be violated.  This is the case in so many parts of the world where conflicts of various sorts continue to fester.  It is also the case here in Europe, where tensions continue to exist.  How great a toll of suffering and death is still being exacted on this continent, which yearns for peace yet so easily falls back into the temptations of the past!  That is why the efforts of the Council of Europe to seek a political solution to current crises is so significant and encouraging.             Yet peace is also put to the test by other forms of conflict, such as religious and international terrorism, which displays deep disdain for human life and indiscriminately reaps innocent victims.  This phenomenon is unfortunately bankrolled by a frequently unchecked traffic in weapons.  The Church is convinced that “the arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured”.   Peace is also violated by trafficking in human beings, the new slavery of our age, which turns persons into merchandise for trade and deprives its victims of all dignity.  Not infrequently we see how interconnected these phenomena are.  The Council of Europe, through its Committees and Expert Groups, has an important and significant role to play in combating these forms of inhumanity.             This being said, peace is not merely the absence of war, conflicts and tensions.  In the Christian vision, peace is at once a gift of God and the fruit of free and reasonable human acts aimed at pursuing the common good in truth and love.  “This rational and moral order is based on a conscientious decision by men and women to seek harmony in their mutual relationships, with respect for justice for everyone”.               How then do we pursue the ambitious goal of peace?             The path chosen by the Council of Europe is above all that of promoting human rights, together with the growth of democracy and the rule of law.  This is a particularly valuable undertaking, with significant ethical and social implications, since the development of our societies and their peaceful future coexistence depends on a correct understanding of these terms and constant reflection on them.  This reflection is one of the great contributions which Europe has offered, and continues to offer, to the entire world.             In your presence today, then, I feel obliged to stress the importance of Europe’s continuing responsibility to contribute to the cultural development of humanity.  I would like to do so by using an image drawn from a twentieth-century Italian poet, Clemente Rebora.  In one of his poems,  Rebora describes a poplar tree, its branches reaching up to the sky, buffeted by the wind, while its trunk remains firmly planted on deep roots sinking into the earth.   In a certain sense, we can consider Europe in the light of this image.               Throughout its history, Europe has always reached for the heights, aiming at new and ambitious goals, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, development, progress, peace and unity.  But the advance of thought, culture, and scientific discovery is entirely due to the solidity of the trunk and the depth of the roots which nourish it.  Once those roots are lost, the trunk slowly withers from within and the branches – once flourishing and erect – bow to the earth and fall.  This is perhaps among the most baffling paradoxes for a narrowly scientific mentality: in order to progress towards the future we need the past, we need profound roots.  We also need the courage not to flee from the present and its challenges.  We need memory, courage, a sound and humane utopian vision.             Rebora notes, on the one hand, that “the trunk sinks its roots where it is most true”.   The roots are nourished by truth, which is the sustenance, the vital lymph, of any society which would be truly free, human and fraternal.  On the other hand, truth appeals to conscience, which cannot be reduced to a form of conditioning.  Conscience is capable of recognizing its own dignity and being open to the absolute; it thus gives rise to fundamental decisions guided by the pursuit of the good, for others and for one’s self; it is itself the locus of responsible freedom.             It also needs to be kept in mind that apart from the pursuit of truth, each individual becomes the criterion for measuring himself and his own actions.  The way is thus opened to a subjectivistic assertion of rights, so that the concept of human rights, which has an intrinsically universal import, is replaced by an individualistic conception of rights.  This leads to an effective lack of concern for others and favours that globalization of indifference born of selfishness, the result of a conception of man incapable of embracing the truth and living an authentic social dimension.             This kind of individualism leads to human impoverishment and cultural aridity, since it effectively cuts off the nourishing roots on which the tree grows.  Indifferent individualism leads to the cult of opulence reflected in the throwaway culture all around us.  We have a surfeit of unnecessary things, but we no longer have the capacity to build authentic human relationships marked by truth and mutual respect.  And so today we are presented with the image of a Europe which is hurt, not only by its many past ordeals, but also by present-day crises which it no longer seems capable of facing with its former vitality and energy; a Europe which is a bit tired and pessimistic, which feels besieged by events and winds of change coming from other continents.             To Europe we can put the question: “Where is your vigour?  Where is that idealism which inspired and ennobled your history?  Where is your spirit of curiosity and enterprise?  Where is your thirst for truth, a thirst which hitherto you have passionately shared with the world?             The future of the continent will depend on the answer to these questions.  Returning to Rebora’s image of the tree, a trunk without roots can continue to have the appearance of life, even as it grows hollow within and eventually dies.  Europe should reflect on whether its immense human, artistic, technical, social, political, economic and religious patrimony is simply an artefact of the past, or whether it is still capable of inspiring culture and displaying its treasures to mankind as a whole.  In providing an answer to this question, the Council of Europe with its institutions has a role of primary importance.             I think particularly of the role of the European Court of Human Rights, which in some way represents the conscience of Europe with regard to those rights.  I express my hope that this conscience will continue to mature, not through a simple consensus between parties, but as the result of efforts to build on those deep roots which are the bases on which the founders of contemporary Europe determined to build.             These roots need to be sought, found and maintained by a daily exercise of memory, for they represent the genetic patrimony of Europe.  At the same time there are present challenges facing the continent.  These summon us to continual creativity in ensuring that the roots continue to bear fruit today and in the realization of our vision for the future.  Allow me to mention only two aspects of this vision: the challenge of multipolarity and the challenge of transversality.              The history of Europe might lead us to think somewhat naïvely of the continent as bipolar, or at most tripolar (as in the ancient conception of Rome-Byzantium-Moscow), and thus to interpret the present and to look to the future on the basis of this schema, which is a simplification born of pretentions to power.             But this is not the case today, and we can legitimately speak of a “multipolar” Europe.  Its tensions – whether constructive or divisive – are situated between multiple cultural, religious and political poles.  Europe today confronts the challenge of creatively “globalizing” this multipolarity.  Nor are cultures necessarily identified with individual countries: some countries have a variety of cultures and some cultures are expressed in a variety of countries.  The same holds true for political, religious, and social aggregations.             Creatively globalizing multipolarity calls for striving to create a constructive harmony, one free of those pretensions to power which, while appearing from a pragmatic standpoint to make things easier, end up destroying the cultural and religious distinctiveness of peoples.             To speak of European multipolarity is to speak of peoples which are born, grow and look to the future.  The task of globalizing Europe’s multipolarity cannot be conceived by appealing to the image of a sphere – in which all is equal and ordered, but proves reductive inasmuch as every point is equidistant from the centre – but rather, by the image of a polyhedron, in which the harmonic unity of the whole preserves the particularity of each of the parts.  Today Europe is multipolar in its relationships and its intentions; it is impossible to imagine or to build Europe without fully taking into account this multipolar reality.             The second challenge which I would like to mention is transversality.  Here I would begin with my own experience: in my meetings with political leaders from various European countries, I have observed that the younger politicians view reality differently than their older colleagues.  They may appear to be saying the same things, but their approach is different.  This is evident in younger politicians from various parties.  This empirical fact points to a reality of present-day Europe which cannot be overlooked in efforts to unite the continent and to guide its future: we need to take into account this transversality encountered in every sector.  To do so requires engaging in dialogue, including intergenerational dialogue.  Were we to define the continent today, we should speak of a Europe in dialogue, one which puts a transversality of opinions and reflections at the service of a harmonious union of peoples.             To embark upon this path of transversal communication requires not only generational empathy, but also an historic methodology of growth.  In Europe’s present political situation, merely internal dialogue between the organizations (whether political, religious or cultural) to which one belongs, ends up being unproductive.  Our times demand the ability to break out of the structures which “contain” our identity and to encounter others, for the sake of making that identity more solid and fruitful in the fraternal exchange of transversality.  A Europe which can only dialogue with limited groups stops halfway; it needs that youthful spirit which can rise to the challenge of transversality.             In light of all this, I am gratified by the desire of the Council of Europe to invest in intercultural dialogue, including its religious dimension, through the Exchange on the Religious Dimension of Intercultural Dialogue.  Here is a valuable opportunity for open, respectful and enriching exchange between persons and groups of different origins and ethnic, linguistic and religious traditions, in a spirit of understanding and mutual respect.             These meetings appear particularly important in the current multicultural and multipolar context, for finding a distinctive physiognomy capable of skilfully linking the European identity forged over the course of centuries to the expectations and aspirations of other peoples who are now making their appearance on the continent.             This way of thinking also casts light on the contribution which Christianity can offer to the cultural and social development of Europe today within the context of a correct relationship between religion and society.  In the Christian vision, faith and reason, religion and society, are called to enlighten and support one another, and, whenever necessary, to purify one another from ideological extremes.  European society as a whole cannot fail to benefit from a renewed interplay between these two sectors, whether to confront a form of religious fundamentalism which is above all inimical to God, or to remedy a reductive rationality which does no honour to man.             There are in fact a number of pressing issues which I am convinced can lead to mutual enrichment, issues on which the Catholic Church – particularly through the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) – can cooperate with the Council of Europe and offer an essential contribution.  First and foremost there is, in view of what I have said above, the area of ethical reflection on human rights, which your Organization is often called to consider.  I think in particular of the issues linked to the protection of human life, sensitive issues that demand a careful study which takes into account the truth of the entire human being, without being restricted to specific medical, scientific or juridic aspects.             Similarly, the contemporary world offers a number of other challenges requiring careful study and a common commitment, beginning with the welcoming of migrants, who immediately require the essentials of subsistence, but more importantly a recognition of their dignity as persons.  Then too, there is the grave problem of labour, chiefly because of the high rate of young adults unemployed in many countries – a veritable mortgage on the future – but also for the issue of the dignity of work.            It is my profound hope that the foundations will be laid for a new social and economic cooperation, free of ideological pressures, capable of confronting a globalized world while at the same time encouraging that sense of solidarity and mutual charity which has been a distinctive feature of Europe, thanks to the generous efforts of hundreds of men and women – some of whom the Catholic Church considers saints – who over the centuries have worked to develop the continent, both by entrepreneurial activity and by works of education, welfare, and human promotion.  These works, above all, represent an important point of reference for the many poor people living in Europe.  How many of them there are in our streets!  They ask not only for the food they need for survival, which is the most elementary of rights, but also for a renewed appreciation of the value of their own life, which poverty obscures, and a rediscovery of the dignity conferred by work.             Finally, among the issues calling for our reflection and our cooperation is the defence of the environment, of this beloved planet earth.  It is the greatest resource which God has given us and is at our disposal not to be disfigured, exploited, and degraded, but so that, in the enjoyment of its boundless beauty, we can live in this world with dignity. Mr Secretary General, Madame President, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,             Pope Paul VI called the Church an “expert in humanity”.   In this world, following the example of Christ and despite the sins of her sons and daughters, the Church seeks nothing other than to serve and to bear witness to the truth.   This spirit alone guides us in supporting the progress of humanity.             In this spirit, the Holy See intends to continue its cooperation with the Council of Europe, which today plays a fundamental role in shaping the mentality of future generations of Europeans.  This calls for mutual engagement in a far-ranging reflection aimed at creating a sort of new agorá, in which all civic and religious groups can enter into free exchange, while respecting the separation of sectors and the diversity of positions, an exchange inspired purely by the desire of truth and the advancement of the common good.  For culture is always born of reciprocal encounter which seeks to stimulate the intellectual riches and creativity of those who take part in it; this is not only a good in itself, it is also something beautiful.  My hope is that Europe, by rediscovering the legacy of its history and the depth of its roots, and by embracing its lively multipolarity and the phenomenon of a transversality in dialogue, will rediscover that youthfulness of spirit which has made this continent fruitful and great.             Thank you!   (from Vatican Radio)... 11 hours 23 min
Desta vez é apropriado dizer: no exterior estão mais adiante do que nós. Na Alemanha, locomotiva da Europa, chegaram a enviar um mandado de prisão a pais contrários à ideia de que a sua filha de oito anos participasse de curso extracurricular em escola comprometida com a ideologia de gênero. Um número crescente d... 11 hours 38 min
Neste dia 22 de novembro, 28 pessoas foram assassinadas a sangue frio por milicianos somalis Shabaab, que selecionaram as vítimas com base na sua crença religiosa e assassinaram os que não sabiam recitar um verso do alcorão. A informação, veiculada hoje, é da agência de notícias Fides. Houve intensificação das me... 11 hours 42 min
O Santo Padre Francisco hoje, em Estrasburgo, fez a viagem papal mais curta da história. No total, esteve menos de quatro horas na cidade francesa. Após o desembarque, às 10h, o Papa foi transferido de carro para a sede do Parlamento Europeu, onde foi recebido pelo presidente Martin Schulz. Ali também havia uma m... 11 hours 44 min
Este ano, a árvore de Natal que adornará a Praça de São Pedro virá da região italiana da Calábria, no sul do país. Um pinheiro de 25 metros de altura chegará ao Vaticano na noite de 4 de dezembro e terá uma peculiaridade: o tronco principal tem um tronco gêmeo, ou seja, são dois troncos unidos. Além da árvore princ... 12 hours 27 min
A segunda parada da brevíssima visita de Francisco à cidade francesa de Estrasburgo tem sido o Conselho de Europa. Do Parlamento, o Papa dirigiu-se em carro ao Conselho de Europa. Ao chegar, quase meia hora mais tarde do que o planejado, o Papa foi recebido pelo secretário geral do Conselho, Thorbjørn Jagland, ac... 12 hours 52 min
Os seis eurodeputados espanhóis da Izquierda Plural (Esquerda Unida, Alternativa Galega de Esquerda e Iniciativa para Catalunya Verdes) abandonaram hoje o hemiciclo durante o discurso do Papa Francisco no plenário da Eurocâmara. Um gesto que não foi seguido por nenhum outro representante político europeu. Interro... 14 hours 58 min
A quarta edição do Prêmio Ratzinger foi entregue neste fim de semana a dois ganhadores conjuntamente. Pela primeira vez, foi premiada uma mulher, a francesa Anne-Marie Pelletier, professora de Sagrada Escritura e Hermenêutica Bíblica na Faculdade Notre Dame, do Seminário de Paris. O prêmio também foi entregue a dom... 15 hours 53 min
De acordo com os dados divulgados em 31 de dezembro de 2013 pela Legião de Cristo, há na congregação, atualmente, 836 religiosos e noviços que se preparam para ser sacerdotes. A variedade das etapas de formação, das procedências geográficas, das idades, dos idiomas e dos setores de interesse de cada um dos religi... 16 hours 41 min
(Vatican Radio) The head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, told Muslim leaders in Iran on Tuesday that all minority groups should be allowed to speak openly without fear of “any negative reactions”. He said Muslims and Christians should be credible partners in dialogue, while religious text books must “present religions and their followers in an objective and respectful manner.” The cardinal’s words came during the 9th Colloquium between Iran’s Center for Interreligious Dialogue (CID) of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) and The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) which is taking place in Teheran on November 25th and 26th. The theme of the meeting is “Christians and Muslims in Constructive Dialogue for the Good of Society.” Please find below the full text of Cardinal Tauran’s address: Your Excellency Dr Abuzar Ibrahimi Turkaman, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, First and foremost, I raise my heart in thanksgiving to God, the Almighty and All-loving, in Whom we, Christians and Muslims, believe with similarities and differences that make our respective religious traditions inseparable parts of the great family of the Abrahamic monotheism. In my name and also in that of my delegation, I wish to thank Dr Ali Muhammad Helmi, the Director General of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue, and his staff for all what they have done to make this important meeting possible. From the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, its Secretary, Fr. Miguel Ayuso, was here in Iran for a preparatory meeting of the Colloquium, while Mons. Khaled Akasheh, the Bureau Chief for Islam, has been coordinating the event. The contribution of speakers, participants, the Apostolic Nunciature in Iran, and of the Chaldean, Armenian and Latin Churches, has been of great importance for the preparation and the carrying out of this event. This is our ninth colloquium. However, some of us had occasions to meet during similar initiatives in other countries. These meetings, we can say, have generated confidence, mutual esteem and collaboration. It is hoped that the III Christian – Muslim Summit that will take place in Rome next December, to which some of the participants of this Colloquium, will only enhance these aspects necessary for peace-building. As we are all aware of, mutual knowledge and cooperation, especially in times of crisis is of great importance. The very fact that religious leaders and scholars from different religions traditions are meeting together is an eloquent message to respective religions. However, once we are back to our respective communities, the questions normally put to us are: What are the advantage of your dialogue for us, Muslims and Christians, at the grass root level? What kind of changes can we expect in our daily life? These questions become more pertinent for religious communities particularly for those that are small in number in a society that has a strong majority belonging to another religion. This is true in the case of Muslims in Italy, of Christians in Iran, and both for Muslims and Christians in India. An easy ‘temptation’ in this context can be that of speaking for those communities saying, well, they are fine; they enjoy many privileges, therefore, they should not complain of anything. It would, however, be more opportune to give these little communities the possibility of speaking about their situation openly, without fearing any negative reactions either from the political authorities or from their neighbours. Self-criticism and constructive criticism by others are very useful. Through them either we open our eyes to the reality or are helped to open to the same. This leads me to an important aspect of being believers and also of being believers in dialogue. It is the question of credibility. Am I credible as a Christian or as a Muslim? And to be credible, I have to ask myself whether I am consistent. Are my deeds in compliance with my words or are they contradictory to one another? This is obviously true also for our dialogue: Is it credible? Is it useful? We are all aware of the necessity of dialogue of specialists, as ours. We should also be aware of our responsibility of bringing the finding and fruits of our meetings and deliberation to all spaces where Muslims, Christians and other believers, and also persons of good will who do not profess any religion live, work, study together. Education, especially through text books, has the moral obligation to present religions and their followers in an objective and respectful manner. Also, religious discourses, in all their spaces and forms, have the obligation of speaking about others as brothers and sisters. The words of Imam Ali "Know that people are of two types: they are either your brothers in religion or your equals in creation." (Nahjul Balagha, Sermon #53), are of great significance. We can add a third category: brotherhood in Abrahamic monotheism, that includes the Jews as well. This reminds us of what Saint John Paul II said to the Christians of Istanbul in respect to Muslims: let us remember the spiritual bonds that unite us. Promoting these kinds of relations is one of the major reasons for the existence of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Obviously, while remaining brothers and sisters in humanity and in the Abrahamic monotheism, we constitute two distinct religions, that are called to thank God for what we have in common, while knowing and respecting our differences. “Christians and Muslims in Constructive Dialogue for the Good of Society” is the theme of our Colloquium. “Construction” normally refers to the building of a house on strong foundations, layer by layer. We are continuing to construct on what many other Muslims and Christians have already done or are doing so. We need to be sure that we are doing good work, on solid foundations, to be sure of the hoped results for our present and our future. While speaking of the good of the society, we refer to all its components, without excluding any one. In this, we imitate God Who, according to Jesus’ words, shines his sun on the good and on the evil, and sends his rain on the good and on the evil alike. Let us therefore prove by our deeds the usefulness of our deliberations and discussions. The sub-themes that have been agreed upon and that will be presented during our meeting are interesting and important at the same time: Spirituality, religious values as a response to extremism and violence and the role of media in promoting a culture of dialogue. When these sub-themes were agreed upon during the preparatory meeting, no one thought that the one regarding extremism and violence would become so dramatically phenomenal. We cannot remain silent or indifferent to the extreme, inhuman and multi-form violence of which Christians and Yezidis have been subjected. Many of them, as we know, have preferred death to renouncing their faith. They are true martyrs. The sacrifice of those who were driven out of their homes, often carrying but only the dress they were wearing, should not be forgotten. Nothing can justify these heinous acts. Invoking religion to justify these crimes would be a crime against religion itself as well. Dear brothers and sisters, Muslims and Christians, and, in fact, all of humanity, need abundant and concrete fruits of our dialogue. This meeting is like a star in a dark night. Let us pray and work, in particular through our dialogue, for a world of justice, peace, security, fraternity and prosperity. (from Vatican Radio)... 18 hours 41 min
O papa Francisco recebeu nesta segunda-feira o presidente da República Árabe do Egito, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, na primeira visita de um chefe de Estado egípcio ao Vaticano nestes últimos oito anos. "Durante os cordiais colóquios, foi abordada a situação do país, destacando-se a solidariedade da Igreja para com todo... 19 hours 37 min
O papa Francisco visita hoje a cidade francesa de Estrasburgo, a pouco mais de 800 quilômetros de Roma. Será a visita papal mais curta da história, com menos de 4 horas de duração. Ele falará perante as duas instituições europeias mais importantes: o Parlamento Europeu e o Conselho da Europa. A viagem se repete 26 ... 19 hours 47 min
Nesta terça-feira, o papa Francisco está visitando a sede do Parlamento Europeu em Estrasburgo, na França. Como já é tradição antes de partir para as suas viagens, Francisco foi ontem à basílica de Santa Maria Maior, em Roma, para rezar diante da imagem de Maria “Salus Populi Romani”. O porta-voz da Santa Sé, pe.... 19 hours 49 min
(Vatican Radio) The full text of the address delivered by Pope Francis to members of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday November 25, 2014. Mr President and Vice Presidents, Members of the European Parliament, All associated with the work of this Institution, Dear Friends,             I thank you for inviting me to address this institution which is fundamental to the life of the European Union, and for giving me this opportunity to speak, through you, to the more than five-hundred million citizens whom you represent in the twenty-eight Member States.  I am especially grateful to you, Mr President, for your warm words of welcome in the name of the entire assembly.             My visit comes more than a quarter of a century after that of Pope John Paul II.  Since then, much has changed throughout Europe and the world as a whole.  The opposing blocs which then divided the continent in two no longer exist, and gradually the hope is being realized that “Europe, endowed with sovereign and free institutions, will one day reach the full dimensions that geography, and even more, history have given it”. [1]             As the European Union has expanded, the world itself has become more complex and ever changing; increasingly interconnected and global, it has, as a consequence, become less and less “Eurocentric”.  Despite a larger and stronger Union, Europe seems to give the impression of being somewhat elderly and haggard, feeling less and less a protagonist in a world which frequently regards it with aloofness, mistrust and even, at times, suspicion.             In addressing you today, I would like, as a pastor, to offer a message of hope and encouragement to all the citizens of Europe.             It is a message of hope, based on the confidence that our problems can become powerful forces for unity in working to overcome all those fears which Europe – together with the entire world – is presently experiencing.  It is a message of hope in the Lord, who turns evil into good and death into life.             It is a message of encouragement to return to the firm conviction of the founders of the European Union, who envisioned a future based on the capacity to work together in bridging divisions and in fostering peace and fellowship between all the peoples of this continent.  At the heart of this ambitious political project was confidence in man, not so much as a citizen or an economic agent, but in man, in men and women as persons endowed with transcendent dignity .                   I feel bound to stress the close bond between these two words: “dignity” and “transcendent”.             “Dignity” was the pivotal concept in the process of rebuilding which followed the Second World War.  Our recent past has been marked by the concern to protect human dignity, in constrast to the manifold instances of violence and discrimination which, even in Europe, took place in the course of the centuries.  Recognition of the importance of human rights came about as the result of a lengthy process, entailing much suffering and sacrifice, which helped shape an awareness of the unique worth of each individual human person.  This awareness was grounded not only in historical events, but above all in European thought, characterized as it is by an enriching encounter whose “distant springs are many, coming from Greece and Rome, from Celtic, Germanic and Slavic sources, and from Christianity which profoundly shaped them”, [2] thus forging the very concept of the “person”.             Today, the promotion of human rights is central to the commitment of the European Union to advance the dignity of the person, both within the Union and in its relations with other countries.  This is an important and praiseworthy commitment, since there are still too many situations in which human beings are treated as objects whose conception, configuration and utility can be programmed, and who can then be discarded when no longer useful, due to weakness, illness or old age.             In the end, what kind of dignity is there without the possibility of freely expressing one’s thought or professing one’s religious faith?  What dignity can there be without a clear juridical framework which limits the rule of force and enables the rule of law to prevail over the power of tyranny?  What dignity can men and women ever enjoy if they are subjected to all types of discrimination?  What dignity can a person ever hope to find when he or she lacks food and the bare essentials for survival and, worse yet, when they lack the work which confers dignity?             Promoting the dignity of the person means recognizing that he or she possesses inalienable rights which no one may take away arbitrarily, much less for the sake of economic interests.             At the same time, however, care must be taken not to fall into certain errors which can arise from a misunderstanding of the concept of human rights and from its misuse.  Today there is a tendency to claim ever broader individual rights; underlying this is a conception of the human person as detached from all social and anthropological contexts, as if the person were a “monad” ( μονάς ), increasingly unconcerned with other surrounding “monads”.  The equally essential and complementary concept of duty no longer seems to be linked to such a concept of rights.  As a result, the rights of the individual are upheld, without regard for the fact that each human being is part of a social context wherein his or her rights and duties are bound up with those of others and with the common good of society itself.              I believe, therefore, that it is vital to develop a culture of human rights which wisely links the individual, or better, the personal aspect, to that of the common good , of the “ all of us ” made up of individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute society. [3] In fact, unless the rights of each individual are harmoniously ordered to the greater good, those rights will end up being considered limitless and consequently will become a source of conflicts and violence.              To speak of transcendent human dignity thus means appealing to human nature, to our innate capacity to distinguish good from evil, to that “compass” deep within our hearts, which God has impressed upon all creation. [4] Above all, it means regarding human beings not as absolutes, but as beings in relation .  In my view, one of the most common diseases in Europe today is the loneliness typical of those who have no connection with others.  This is especially true of the elderly, who are often abandoned to their fate, and also in the young who lack clear points of reference and opportunities for the future.  It is also seen in the many poor who dwell in our cities and in the disorientation of immigrants who came here seeking a better future.             This loneliness has become more acute as a result of the economic crisis, whose effects continue to have tragic consequences for the life of society.  In recent years, as the European Union has expanded, there has been growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof, engaged in laying down rules perceived as insensitive to individual peoples, if not downright harmful.  In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a “grandmother”, no longer fertile and vibrant.  As a result, the great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions.              Together with this, we encounter certain rather selfish lifestyles, marked by an opulence which is no longer sustainable and frequently indifferent to the world around us, and especially to the poorest of the poor.  To our dismay we see technical and economic questions dominating political debate, to the detriment of genuine concern for human beings. [5] Men and women risk being reduced to mere cogs in a machine that treats them as items of consumption to be exploited, with the result that – as is so tragically apparent – whenever a human life no longer proves useful for that machine, it is discarded with few qualms, as in the case of the terminally ill, the elderly who are abandoned and uncared for, and children who are killed in the womb.             This is the great mistake made “when technology is allowed to take over”; [6] the result is a confusion between ends and means”. [7] It is the inevitable consequence of a “throwaway culture” and an uncontrolled consumerism.  Upholding the dignity of the person means instead acknowledging the value of human life, which is freely given us and hence cannot be an object of trade or commerce.  As members of this Parliament, you are called to a great mission which may at times seem an impossible one: to tend to the needs of individuals and peoples.  To tend to those in need takes strength and tenderness, effort and generosity in the midst of a functionalistic and privatized mindset which inexorably leads to a “throwaway culture”.  To care for individuals and peoples in need means protecting memory and hope; it means taking responsibility for the present with its situations of utter marginalization and anguish, and being capable of bestowing dignity upon it. [8]             How, then, can hope in the future be restored, so that, beginning with the younger generation, there can be a rediscovery of that confidence needed to pursue the great ideal of a united and peaceful Europe, a Europe which is creative and resourceful, respectful of rights and conscious of its duties?             To answer this question, allow me to use an image.  One of the most celebrated frescoes of Raphael is found in the Vatican and depicts the so-called “School of Athens”.  Plato and Aristotle are in the centre.  Plato’s finger is pointed upward, to the world of ideas, to the sky, to heaven as we might say.  Aristotle holds his hand out before him, towards the viewer, towards the world, concrete reality.  This strikes me as a very apt image of Europe and her history, made up of the constant interplay between heaven and earth, where the sky suggests that openness to the transcendent – to God – which has always distinguished the peoples of Europe, while the earth represents Europe’s practical and concrete ability to confront situations and problems.             The future of Europe depends on the recovery of the vital connection between these two elements.  A Europe which is no longer open to the transcendent dimension of life is a Europe which risks slowly losing its own soul and that “humanistic spirit” which it still loves and defends.             Taking as a starting point this opening to the transcendent, I would like to reaffirm the centrality of the human person, which otherwise is at the mercy of the whims and the powers of the moment.  I consider to be fundamental not only the legacy that Christianity has offered in the past to the social and cultural formation of the continent, but above all the contribution which it desires to offer today, and in the future, to Europe’s growth.  This contribution does not represent a threat to the secularity of states or to the independence of the institutions of the European Union, but rather an enrichment.  This is clear from the ideals which shaped Europe from the beginning, such as peace, subsidiarity and reciprocal solidarity, and a humanism centred on respect for the dignity of the human person.             I wish, then, to reiterate the readiness of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, through the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (COMECE), to engage in meaningful, open and transparent dialogue with the institutions of the European Union.   I am likewise convinced that a Europe which is capable of appreciating its religious roots and of grasping their fruitfulness and potential, will be all the more immune to the many forms of extremism spreading in the world today, not least as a result of the great vacuum of ideals which we are currently witnessing in the West, since “it is precisely man’s forgetfulness of God, and his failure to give him glory, which gives rise to violence”. [9]             Here I cannot fail to recall the many instances of injustice and persecution which daily afflict religious minorities, and Christians in particular, in various parts of our world.  Communities and individuals today find themselves subjected to barbaric acts of violence: they are evicted from their homes and native lands, sold as slaves, killed, beheaded, crucified or burned alive, under the shameful and complicit silence of so many.             The motto of the European Union is United in Diversity .  Unity, however, does not mean uniformity of political, economic and cultural life, or ways of thinking.  Indeed, all authentic unity draws from the rich diversities which make it up: in this sense it is like a family, which is all the more united when each of its members is free to be fully himself or herself.  I consider Europe as a family of peoples who will sense the closeness of the institutions of the Union when these latter are able wisely to combine the desired ideal of unity with the diversity proper to each people, cherishing particular traditions, acknowledging its past history and its roots, liberated from so many manipulations and phobias.  Affirming the centrality of the human person means, above all, allowing all to express freely their individuality and their creativity, both as individuals and as peoples.             At the same time, the specific features of each one represent an authentic richness to the degree that they are placed at the service of all.  The proper configuration of the European Union must always be respected, based as it is on the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, so that mutual assistance can prevail and progress can be made on the basis of mutual trust.             Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the European Parliament, within this dynamic of unity and particularity, yours is the responsibility of keeping democracy alive for the peoples of Europe.  It is no secret that a conception of unity seen as uniformity strikes at the vitality of the democratic system, weakening the rich, fruitful and constructive interplay of organizations and political parties.  This leads to the risk of living in a world of ideas, of mere words, of images, of sophistry… and to end up confusing the reality of democracy with a new political nominalism.  Keeping democracy alive in Europe requires avoiding the many globalizing tendencies to dilute reality: namely, angelic forms of purity, dictatorships of relativism, brands of ahistorical fundamentalism, ethical systems lacking kindness, and intellectual discourse bereft of wisdom [10] .             Keeping democracies alive is a challenge in the present historic moment.  The true strength of our democracies – understood as expressions of the political will of the people – must not be allowed to collapse under the pressure of multinational interests which are not universal, which weaken them and turn them into uniform systems of economic power at the service of unseen empires.  This is one of the challenges which history sets before you today.             To give Europe hope means more than simply acknowledging the centrality of the human person; it also implies nurturing the gifts of each man and woman.  It means investing in individuals and in those settings in which their talents are shaped and flourish.  The first area surely is that of education, beginning with the family, the fundamental cell and most precious element of any society.  The family, united, fruitful and indissoluble, possesses the elements fundamental for fostering hope in the future.  Without this solid basis, the future ends up being built on sand, with dire social consequences.  Then too, stressing the importance of the family not only helps to give direction and hope to new generations, but also to many of our elderly, who are often forced to live alone and are effectively abandoned because there is no longer the warmth of a family hearth able to accompany and support them.             Alongside the family, there are the various educational institutes: schools and universities. Education cannot be limited to providing technical expertise alone.  Rather, it should encourage the more complex process of assisting the human person to grow in his or her totality.  Young people today are asking for a suitable and complete education which can enable them to look to the future with hope instead of disenchantment.  There is so much creative potential in Europe in the various fields of scientific research, some of which have yet to be fully explored.  We need only think, for example, of alternative sources of energy, the development of which will assist in the protection of the environment.             Europe has always been in the vanguard of efforts to promote ecology.  Our earth needs constant concern and attention.  Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us.  This means, on the one hand, that nature is at our disposal, to enjoy and use properly.  Yet it also means that we are not its masters.  Stewards, but not masters.  We need to love and respect nature, but “instead we are often guided by the pride of dominating, possessing, manipulating, exploiting; we do not ‘preserve’ the earth, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a freely-given gift to look after”. [11] Respect for the environment, however, means more than not destroying it; it also means using it for good purposes.  I am thinking above all of the agricultural sector, which provides sustenance and nourishment to our human family.  It is intolerable that millions of people around the world are dying of hunger while tons of food are discarded each day from our tables.  Respect for nature also calls for recognizing that man himself is a fundamental part of it.  Along with an environmental ecology, there is also need of that human ecology which consists in respect for the person, which I have wanted to emphasize in addressing you today.             The second area in which people’s talents flourish is labour.  The time has come to promote policies which create employment, but above all there is a need to restore dignity to labour by ensuring proper working conditions.  This implies, on the one hand, finding new ways of joining market flexibility with the need for stability and security on the part of workers; these are indispensable for their human development.  It also implies favouring a suitable social context geared not to the exploitation of persons, but to ensuring, precisely through labour, their ability to create a family and educate their children.             Likewise, there needs to be a united response to the question of migration.  We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery!  The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance.  The absence of mutual support within the European Union runs the risk of encouraging particularistic solutions to the problem, solutions which fail to take into account the human dignity of immigrants, and thus contribute to slave labour and continuing social tensions.  Europe will be able to confront the problems associated with immigration only if it is capable of clearly asserting its own cultural identity and enacting adequate legislation to protect the rights of European citizens and to ensure the acceptance of immigrants.  Only if it is capable of adopting fair, courageous and realistic policies which can assist the countries of origin in their own social and political development and in their efforts to resolve internal conflicts – the principal cause of this phenomenon – rather than adopting policies motivated by self-interest, which increase and feed such conflicts.  We need to take action against the causes and not only the effects. Mr President, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,             Awareness of one’s own identity is also necessary for entering into a positive dialogue with the States which have asked to become part of the Union in the future.  I am thinking especially of those in the Balkans, for which membership in the European Union could be a response to the desire for peace in a region which has suffered greatly from past conflicts.  Awareness of one’s own identity is also indispensable for relations with other neighbouring countries, particularly with those bordering the Mediterranean, many of which suffer from internal conflicts, the pressure of religious fundamentalism and the reality of global terrorism. Upon you, as legislators, it is incumbent to protect and nurture Europe’s identity, so that its citizens can experience renewed confidence in the institutions of the Union and in its underlying project of peace and friendship.  Knowing that “the more the power of men and women increases, the greater is individual and collective responsibility”, [12] I encourage you to work to make Europe rediscover the best of itself.             An anonymous second-century author wrote that “Christians are to the world what the soul is to the body”. [13] The function of the soul is to support the body, to be its conscience and its historical memory.  A two-thousand-year-old history links Europe and Christianity.  It is a history not free of conflicts and errors, but one constantly driven by the desire to work for the good of all.  We see this in the beauty of our cities, and even more in the beauty of the many works of charity and constructive cooperation throughout this continent.  This history, in large part, must still be written.  It is our present and our future.  It is our identity.  Europe urgently needs to recover its true features in order to grow, as its founders intended, in peace and harmony, since it is not yet free of conflicts.             Dear Members of the European Parliament, the time has come to work together in building a Europe which revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values.  In building a Europe which courageously embraces its past and confidently looks to its future in order fully to experience the hope of its present.  The time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which is fearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage a Europe of leadership, a repository of science, art, music, human values and faith as well.  A Europe which contemplates the heavens and pursues lofty ideals.  A Europe which cares for, defends and protects man, every man and woman.  A Europe which bestrides the earth surely and securely, a precious point of reference for all humanity!             Thank you! [1] JOHN PAUL II, Address to the European Parliament (11 October 1988), 5. [2] JOHN PAUL II , Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (8 October 1988), 3. [3] Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate , 7; SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes , 26. [4] Cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church , 37. [5] Cf. Evangelii Gaudium , 55. [6] BENEDICT XVI, Caritas in Veritate , 71. [7] Ibid. [8] Cf. Evangelii Gaudium , 209. [9] BENEDICT XVI , Address to the Members of the Diplomatic Corps , 7 January 2013. [10] Evangelii Gaudium , 231. [11] FRANCIS, General Audience , 5 June 2013. [12] Cf. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL, Gaudium et Spes, 34. [13] Cf. Letter to Diognetus , 6. (from Vatican Radio)... 20 hours 21 min
Apresentamos a íntegra do Discurso do Papa Francisco ao Parlamento Europeu pronunciado nesta Terça-feira, 25 de novembro de 2014. SenhorPresidente, Senhoras e Senhores Vice-Presidentes, Ilustres Eurodeputados, Pessoas que a vário título trabalhais neste hemiciclo, Queridos amigos! Agradeço-vos o convite para ... 20 hours 26 min
“A fama de Santa Catarina de Alexandria sobrevive na devoção crista e no nome de muitas igrejas em todas as partes do mundo” dizia o Papa João Paulo II referindo-se à Santa que nasceu em meados do século III em Alexandria filha do Rei Costus e Sabinela. Educada em esmerada didática, aos 13 anos já era mestra em div... 20 hours 45 min
Ciclo B Textos: Is 63, 16-17.19; 64, 2-7; 1 Co 1, 3-9; Mc 13, 33-37 Introdução: A partir de hoje até o dia do Batismo do Senhor, o domingo seguinte à Epifania, percorreremos com a fé e o amor seis semanas litúrgicas de “tempo forte” nas que celebramos a Boa Notícia: a vinda do Senhor. Advento é um tempo anual p... 23 hours 26 min
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis and the prefects and presidents of pontifical congregations and councils held a three hour meeting Monday morning in the Vatican to discuss proposals for reform of the Roman Curia.  The director of the Vatican Press Office , Father Federico Lombardi, reminded journalists that these meetings are routinely held about every six months or so.  He said that the secretary of the “C9” Council of Cardinals examining the issue of Curial reform , Bishop Marcello Semeraro , gave a brief presentation of the subjects under consideration.  Those present were then permitted to contribute their opinions which will be taken into account in future meetings of the C9 , scheduled for 9 , 10 and 11 December.   (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 47 min
(Vatican Radio) The Holy See has honored Lebanon’s former President, General Michel Suleiman, with the distinction of Knight of the Grand Cross.  In conferring the distinction Monday on Mr. Suleiman, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said it comes as recognition of his “personal engagement for peace and integration, particularly during the period of your mandate as President of Lebanon.” Suleiman’s presidential mandate over a period of political instability, the Arab Spring and cross-border tensions and massive refugee crisis due to the Syrian conflict, expired in May this year. Cardinal Parolin said “In the current circumstances in the history of our humanity ' the honor that you will receive is in itself, a profound appeal to all protagonists of political, economic and social life to work for peace and security making the common good the  determining criteria of their decisions and choices governing the destiny of peoples. In this sense, I ask God to grant the Lebanese to be architects of brotherhood because it is in this way that their country will truly become a haven of peace where each citizen will be able to realize his or her own full potential and contribute to the writing of glorious pages of the history of Lebanon.” (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 48 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday greeted pilgrims from India who came to Rome for the canonization of Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia Eluvathingal. “Father Kuriakose Elias was a religious, both active and contemplative, who generously gave his life for the Syro-Malabar Church, putting into action the maxim ‘sanctification of oneself and the salvation of others’,”  Pope Francis said. “For her part, Sister Euphrasia lived in profound union with God so much so that her life of holiness was an example and an encouragement to the people, who called her ‘Praying Mother’.” In his remarks, he made special mention of the Church in the Indian state of Kerala, thanking them for their “apostolic zeal”. Below the video we have provided the full text of the Pope’s address to the pilgrims from India I am pleased to join you in giving thanks to the Lord for the canonization of two new Indian saints, both from the State of Kerala. I take this opportunity to thank the Church in India, the Church in Kerala, for all its apostolic vigour and for your witness to the Faith! My heartfelt gratitude! Keep up the good work! Kerala is rich in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Continue on this path, working through your witness. I thank Cardinal George Alencherry, the Bishops, priests, men and women religious, and each of you, dear brothers and sisters of the Syro-Malabar rite. I remember in a special way the Cardinal of the Syro- Malankara rite: thank you! Did you know that your Syro-Malankar Cardinal is the youngest member of the College of Cardinals? You have come to Rome in great numbers on this very important occasion, and have been able to live days of faith and ecclesial communion, praying also at the tombs of the Apostles. May this time of celebration and intense spirituality help you to contemplate the marvellous works accomplished by the Lord in the lives and deeds of these new saints. Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Sister Euphrasia Eluvathingal, who was a member of the religious Institute founded by him, remind each of us that God’s love is the source, the support and the goal of all holiness, while love of neighbour is the clearest manifestation of love for God. Father Kuriakose Elias was a religious, both active and contemplative, who generously gave his life for the Syro-Malabar Church, putting into action the maxim “sanctification of oneself and the salvation of others”. For her part, Sister Euphrasia lived in profound union with God so much so that her life of holiness was an example and an encouragement to the people, who called her “Praying Mother”. There are many consecrated religious here today, especially consecrated women. May you also may be known as “Praying Sisters”. Dear brothers and sisters, may these new saints help you to treasure their lessons of evangelical living. Follow in their footsteps and imitate them, in a particular way, through love of Jesus in the Eucharist and love of the Church. Thus you will advance along the path to holiness. With this hope and the assurance of my prayers, I impart to each of you and to all your loved ones my Apostolic Blessing. Thank you! (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 48 min
(Vatican Radio)  The European Union’s ambassador to the Holy See says the EU and the Vatican enjoy “very good” relations and there is potential to do “much more” in terms of strengthening cooperation between the two.  Ambassador Laurence Argimon- Pistre, also Head of the EU Delegation to the Order of Malta and U.N. Organizations in Rome, spoke to Vatican Radio ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the European Parliament and Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Tuesday, 25 November.  Listen to Linda Bordoni’s interview with Ambassador Argimon-Pistre:  “There is a long-standing relationship between the European Union and the Vatican,” she explains, noting that nearly half of the continent’s population is Catholic.  “The Vatican is interested in what the EU is doing because it has relevance for this Catholic population.”  By the same token, the European Union is interested  “in what the Vatican is thinking and what the Vatican advises on the activities the European Union is developing” in various areas.  The EU shares “the same values and… the same respect of fundamental rights, human dignity… So there is a lot to do together.” Ambassador Argimon- Pistre observes that the Church has been supporting the construction of the European Union since the very beginning. “But the real diplomatic connections were established in 1999 when the Vatican opened its nunciature to the European Union institutions so there’s a special embassy of the Vatican in Brussels – it used to be merged with the Belgian embassy but then it became a single embassy.” The European Union opened its own embassy to the Holy See in Rome in 2006. Argimon- Pistre confirms that she and the European Union’s 21 ambassadors in Rome meet regularly, also meeting with Vatican officials and cardinals, including the Secretary for Relations with States. “There is an enormous potential to work together – especially on things like foreign affairs,” the Ambassador notes.  Some of the issues of concern where the Holy See and EU can cooperate more, she adds, include protection of Christians in Middle East, migrants and  social protections for youth and combatting human trafficking. “These are matters which are also key today in Europe because we are going through a crisis; we are doing everything we can to keep our social system, to respect our values but on the other hand, we are also in a very difficult situation.  You can see it with the (rise) of extremist parties in Europe which is very worrying.  So there, we have a lot to do together.  And this is why I think the visit of Pope Francis in Strasbourg is going to be so important.” Asked what do European political leaders in Strasbourg need to hear from the Pope, Argimon- Pistre responds, “They need to hear that by being together, we are stronger.” The construction of the European Union, she warns, “is not something that is totally irreversible – there are threats to what we have been building and there are threats to the peace we have been able to cherish during basically now nearly  70 years.  And people think that this is something, well, they take peace for granted.  But peace is not granted, never, ever.  And we see it today because we have definitely a lot of terrible signals coming from everywhere: both in terms of Ukraine, and also what’s going on in the Middle East, and we’ve seen (this sort) of barbarian, barbaric Islamist system which is being set up in Syria and Iraq.” Climate change is another threat to the entire planet, she adds: “climate change is really making life difficult for the poorest.” The Ambassador recalls that the European Union received the Nobel prize for peace: it “is actually a real guarantee for peace.  It has always been a defender of all these values which stand for human rights, for democracy, for rule of law, for protection of the poorest, for solidarity.” Argimon- Pistre cites the example of Poland which she says has seen its quality of life improve five times over since it joined the EU. And, after a recent visit to Bucharest, Romania, she says “I was impressed by the level of growth and the optimism of the people.  This is produced by the EU – being part of the European union gives people this possibility really to have the impression of getting into a system which is protecting them better.  And this is important.  The European union protects its citizens. Protects them socially, protects them in terms of rights.” Asked if Pope Francis’ voice is heard by EU legislators as they debate new challenges and social policies, Ambassador Argimon- Pistre  responds,  “Pope Francis is listened (to) not only by the Catholics, he’s listened by everybody.  I am amazed at the number of people for instance when I go back to France who tell me: ‘oh, I love this pope – you know, even if I’m not Catholic or even if I’m not practicing, I think he speaks so true and he says things which are so important!’ So I think Pope Francis, today in the world, is probably one of the most respected voices – wherever, in Europe, in Latin America, in Asia – he’s a respected voice. And it is very important that he recalls to people that they have to preserve this very special treasure they’ve been able to build, which is Europe and the European construction of the European Union.” European legislators need to recall, she adds, that the EU “has a duty of preserving the welfare of each citizen. To protect his (or her) human dignity.”  They must also help migrants and act in solidarity,  “to be active in the world to help the suffering (and) to protect freedom of religion which is something we have directly in our charter, …. And this is something on which we have to be very, very careful.”   (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 1 hour
(Vatican Radio) When the Church is humble and poor, then "it is faithful" to Christ, giving all it has for the Lord and others, leaving nothing for itself said Pope Francis at morning Mass in  Casa Santa Marta Monday. Listen: Pope Francis based his reflections on the Gospel of the Day which recounts the episode of the poor widow who gives all that she has – two small coins or mites – to the Temple treasury, while the rich made offerings from their surplus wealth under the gaze of Jesus. Pope Francis said the Gospel captures two tendencies always present in the history of the Church. The Church tempted by vanity and the "poor Church", which - he says - "must have no other riches than her Spouse", like the humble widow: " I like to see the Church in this figure, the Church which is, in a sense, a widow, because she waiting for her Bridegroom who will return ... But she has her Bridegroom in the Eucharist, in the Word of God, in the poor, yes: but she is still waiting for his return. This is the attitude of the Church... This widow was not important, the widow’s name did not appear in the newspapers. No one knew her. She had no university degrees... nothing. Nothing. She didn’t shine of her own light. This is what makes me see the Church in the figure of this woman. The Church must not shine on her own light, but the light that comes from her Bridegroom. That comes right from her Bridegroom. And over the centuries, when the Church wanted to have her own light, she was wrong”. "It's true," continued Pope Francis, "that sometimes the Lord can ask His Church to have, to shine some its own light" but this means that if the Church's mission is to illuminate humanity, the light that she gifts must be the one she has received from Christ in an attitude of humility: " Everything we do in the Church is to help us in this, to help us receive that light. Service without this light is no good: it makes the Church rich, or powerful, or makes the Church seek power, or take the wrong road, as has happened many times in history, as happens in our lives, when we want to have another light, which is not exactly that of the Lord: a light of our own ". When the Church "is faithful to hope and to her Bridegroom," repeated Papa Francis, "it is a joy to receive the light from Him, to be in this sense 'widow' ', waiting, like the moon, for the “sun that will return": " When the Church is humble, when the Church is poor, even when the Church confesses her wretchedness – we all experience this – then the Church is faithful. The Church says: ‘I am dark, but my light comes from there!' This does us all good. Let us pray to this widow who is certainly in  Heaven, to teach us to be the Church like this, giving everything we have in life: leaving nothing for us. Everything for the Lord and for others. Humble. Without boasting of having our own light, always seeking the light that comes from the Lord". (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 1 hour

Querido leitor de ZENIT:

Como já visto, acabamos de lançar a nossa campanha anual de doações.

Todo ano, convidamos nossos leitores a participar pessoalmente no sustento econômico de ZENIT.

Os fundos que arrecadamos durante esta campanha são a única fonte de financiamento que permitirá que ZENIT continue suas atividades em 2015.

Para que você compreenda a importância do resultado da campanha de donativos entre os leitores, queremos que conheça a nossa atual situação financeira.

Neste momento no "caixa" de ZENIT existe a quantia suficiente para cobrir somente os gastos do mês de novembro.

La Providência nos acostumou a esta situação. É verdade: neste momento não há dinheiro, mas temos todos os leitores como você!

São justamente vocês – os leitores – mais de 500 000, e com a generosidade que sempre nos demonstraram, os artífices desta continuidade que até agora a cada ano tem se repetido: o sustento econômico de ZENIT!

Este é o 16° ano que lançamos nossa campanha anual de doações. Caso surpreenda e assuste a atual situação financeira de ZENIT, talvez tranquilize e surpreenda ainda mais outro detalhe: durante 15 anos consecutivos, a situação foi SEMPRE a mesma, ou seja, no começo da campanha de doações o dinheiro disponível é praticamente zero e, graças à generosidade dos leitores, ZENIT recebe os recursos para chegar ao ano seguinte!

Em seus 17 anos de vida, ZENIT nunca teve de recorrer a empréstimos ou riscos financeiros.

Mesmo com o crescimento contínuo e rápido das atividades, o que trouxe também um constante crescimento do orçamento anual, a Providência não deixou nunca que faltasse o sustento econômico estritamente necessário.

Para nós que trabalhamos em ZENIT e o acompanhamos de perto. OBRIGADO

O caminho concreto através do qual se realiza este grande dom é a generosidade de cada um de vocês!

Convidamos cada um de vocês a enviar agora sua doação, na medida de suas possibilidades. Fazer isso é muito fácil, basta clicar em:

http://www.zenit.org/portuguese/doacao.html

Ajude-nos a ter os recursos disponíveis para pagar nossos gastos de dezembro.

Ajude-nos a conseguir os recursos necessários para seguir adiante!

Saudações fraternas da equipe ZENIT em língua portuguesa.

Contamos com você!

Página principal ZENIT

1 day 3 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu neste sábado, no Vaticano, os participantes da maior conferência já realizada sobre o autismo, que reuniu centenas de profissionais da saúde, incluindo especialistas de nível mundial. Com o título “A pessoa com distúrbios do espectro autista: encorajar para a esperança”, a reunião organiz... 1 day 12 hours
"A misericórdia muda a história dos indivíduos e até mesmo a história dos povos", disse o papa Francisco durante o seu discurso deste sábado aos participantes no IV Congresso Missionário Nacional, promovido pela Conferência Episcopal Italiana (CEI). O papa recordou que "toda geração é chamada a ser missionária", ... 1 day 12 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu neste sábado pela manhã, no Vaticano, os participantes do III Congresso Mundial dos Movimentos Eclesiais e das Novas Comunidades, que teve como tema “A alegria do evangelho: uma alegria missionária”. Francisco exortou os participantes a “manterem o frescor do carisma, respeitar a liberdade ... 1 day 13 hours
O Secretário de Estado, Cardeal Pietro Parolin, explicou em entrevista à Rádio Vaticano as principais questões que o Papa afrontará na sua iminente visita ao Parlamento Europeu e ao Conselho de Europa. Entre outras questões, o Santo Padre irá abordar as consequências da atual crise sobre os mais pobres, a defesa do... 1 day 13 hours
Um fato curioso, retirado de uma pesquisa que acaba de ser publicada na Argentina: diminui o número das pessoas que declaram que acreditam em Deus, enquanto que aumenta o das pessoas que se dizem católica. A Universidade Católica Argentina regista o paradoxo singular no relatório periódico sobre a situação religios... 1 day 14 hours
"Por intercessão dos dois santos indianos, provenientes de Kerala, o Senhor conceda um novo impulso missionário à Igreja na Índia, a fim que inspirada pelo exemplo de concórdia e reconciliação, os cristãos da Índia continuem no caminho da solidariedade e da convivência fraterna.” Assim, o Papa Francisco saudou na... 1 day 14 hours
O Santo Padre Francisco nomeou prefeito da Congregação para o Culto Divino e a Disciplina dos Sacramentos o Cardeal Robert Sarah, até agora presidente do Pontifício Conselho "Cor Unum", informou nessa segunda-feira um comunicado da Sala de Imprensa da Santa Sé. O ex-prefeito, o cardeal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, ... 1 day 14 hours
O bispo auxiliar de Seattle e presidente da Comissão para a Migração da Conferência Episcopal dos Estados Unidos (USCCB), Dom Eusébio Elizondo, congratulou-se com a notícia de que o governo Obama decidiu adiar a repatriação de muitos imigrantes em situação irregular e de suas famílias. Além disso o prelado disse ... 1 day 14 hours
O Papa Francisco viajará amanhã, terça-feira, à cidade francesa de Estrasburgo, a pouco mais de 800 quilômetros de Roma. Será a visita papal mais curta do seu pontificado, menos de 4 horas. Lá, falará às duas instituições europeias mais importantes: o Parlamento Europeu e o Conselho de Europa. Uma viagem que se rep... 1 day 14 hours
O Papa Francisco presidiu uma reunião nesta manhã, das 9h30 às 12h30, com os chefes dos dicastérios da Cúria Romana. A pauta era abordar, com os responsáveis dos dicastérios, as propostas do Conselho de cardeais, instituído por Francisco, sobre a reforma da Cúria. Entre os presentes estavam todos os presidentes dos... 1 day 15 hours
Papa Francisco menciona mais uma vez uma "Igreja pobre", na homilia da missa celebrada hoje na capela da Casa Santa Marta. Inspirado na passagem evangélica da liturgia do dia. Jesus olha para o alto e observa a ostentação dos homens ricos que oferecem grandes cifras para eles supérfluas. Mas vê também o gesto humil... 1 day 15 hours
Começará no próximo sábado, 29 de novembro, com uma grande vigília de oração, às 19h, na basílica papal de Santa Maria Maior, o Ano da Vida Consagrada, querido pelo Papa Francisco para recordar o 50º aniversário da Constituição Dogmática Lumen Gentium e do Decreto Perfectae Caritatis. No dia seguinte, domingo, 30... 1 day 15 hours
(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit. On Monday the Holy Father also named Fr Victor Hlolo Phalana, currently Vicar General of the Archdiocese of the Archdiocese of Pretoria, as the Bishop of Klerksdorp, South Africa. Biography of Bishop Daniel Hying Bishop Hying is a native of West Allis, Wisconsin. Born to Albert and Catherine Hying (both deceased) on August 18, 1963, he is the youngest of six sons. After attending St. Aloysius and Immaculate Heart of Mary grade schools, he graduated from Brookfield Central High School and Marquette University. He earned his Masters of Divinity from Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on May 20,1989. His first priestly assignment was as associate pastor for St. Anthony Parish, Menomonee Falls from 1989 to 1994. From 1994 to 1997, he was a team member for La Sagrada Familia Parroquia, in the Dominican Republic. Bishop Hyling was temporary administrator at St. Peter Parish, East Troy, 1998, and later served as pastor at Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Milwaukee from 1999 to 2005 and St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee from 1998 to 1999. He served as temporary administrator at St. Augustine Parish, Milwaukee in 2006, then as dean of Formation at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, from 2005 to 2007. In 2007 Bishop Hyling was named as rector of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary by then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, a position he held from 2007 to 2011. On July 20, 2011, he was ordained the seventh auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Biography of Bishop Phalana Father Victor Hlolo Phalana was born on 3 April 1961 in Erasmus, Odi, in the North West Province, in the Archdiocese of Pretoria. He studied philosophy and theology at the Major Seminar of St John Vianney in Pretoria. He obtained a License in Spirituality from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1995, and in 1999 undertook studies in African Culture at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi. He was ordained to the priesthood on 14 May 1988, incardinated in the Archdiocese of Pretoria. Following his ordination, Father Phalana served as parochial vicar of St. Camillus in Hammanskraal (1988-1989 and later as Pastor of Christ the King, Mabopane (1989-1992). From 1992-1993 he was Professor at the Propaedeutic Seminar of Hammanskraal and Cape Town. After his studies at the Gregorian University, he was Spiritual Director at the philosophical Seminary of St. Peter and taught at the Major Seminary of St. John Vianney (1995-1999). From 1994-2004 he taught at the Lumko Pastoral Institute. Bishop-elect Phalana served as pastor of Good Shepherd and St. Peter in Winterveldt from 2004-2008. Since 2007 he has been administrator of the Cathedral of Pretoria, and since 2011 Vicar General of the Archdiocese.  (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 16 hours
“...a semente da fé foi misturado no território vietnamita, com o sangue abundante de mártires, tanto do clero missionário e do clero local como das pessoas cristãs do Vietnã” escreveu João Paulo II na canonização dos 117 mártires vietnamitas que são representados pelo Padre André Dung-Lac que nasceu por volta do a... 1 day 20 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis says we need to “break down the isolation and stigma that burden” people living with autism spectrum disorders.  The Pope was speaking to participants at a three-day conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care titled The Person with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Animating Hope. Listen to Emer McCarthy's report: 650 experts from 57 countries were joined in the Paul VI hall Saturday by hundreds of parents and children affected by autism.  Warmly thanking them for their ‘moving and meaningful testimonies’ on what it means to live with the condition, Pope Francis spoke of the fragility of children and families suffering from autism spectrum disorders, describing the stigma and isolation they feel as a Cross. To meet their needs and break through their loneliness, the Pope spoke of creating a network of support and services on the ground that are comprehensive and accessible.   This is the responsibility of governments and intuitions he said but also of Christian communities, parishes and friends.  This continued the Pope would help families overcome the feelings, that can sometimes arise, of inadequacy, uselessness and frustration when faced with the daily realities of autism.  Pope Francis concluded with words of encouragement for academics and researchers in the field that they may discover therapies and support tools, to help and heal and, above all, prevent the onset of these conditions as soon as possible. While always safeguarding the inalienable dignity of every person. Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s address: Dear Brothers and Sisters, Thank you for your welcome!   I am happy to welcome you at the end of your XXIX International Conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care, which I thank for wanting to realize such a commendable and relevant initiative, dedicated to the complex issue of autism spectrum disorders. I warmly greet all of you who have come to take part in this meeting, which focused on prayer and testimony, together with people who are affected by autism spectrum disorders, their families and specialized associations. These conditions constitute a fragility that affects numerous children and, consequently, their families. They represent an area that appeal to the direct responsibility of governments and institutions, without of course forgetting the responsibility of Christian communities. Everyone should be committed to promoting acceptance, encounter and solidarity through concrete support and by encouraging renewed hope.  In this way we can contribute to breaking down the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma burdening people with autism spectrum disorders, and just as often their families. This must not be an anonymous or impersonal accompaniment, but one of listening to the profound needs that arise from the depths of a pathology which, all too often, struggles to be properly  diagnosed and accepted without shame or withdrawing into solitude, especially for families. It is a Cross. Assistance to people affected by autism spectrum disorders would benefit greatly from the creation of a network of support and services on the ground that are comprehensive and accessible.  These should involve, in addition to parents, grandparents, friends, therapists, educators and pastoral workers. These figures can help families overcome the feelings, that can sometimes arise, of inadequacy, uselessness and frustration. For this very reason, I thank the families, parish groups and various associations present here today and from whom we heard these moving and meaningful testimonies, for the work they carry out every day. I extend to all of them my personal gratitude and that of the whole Church. Moreover, I want to encourage the hard work of academics and researchers, so that they may discover therapies and support tools, to help and heal and, above all, prevent the onset of these conditions as soon as possible. All of this while paying due attention to the rights of the patients, their needs and their potential, always safeguarding the dignity of every person. Dear brothers and sisters, I entrust you all to the protection of the Virgin Mary, and I thank you for your prayers. Now, all together, let us pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for all health care workers, for the sick, and then receive the blessing. Hail Mary ... (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 22 hours
(Vatican Radio) Freedom, charism, communion: these were the three focal points of Pope Francis’ remarks to participants in  the III World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities on Saturday morning in the Vatican. More than three hundred people from all around the world, representing the groups and communities founded in the wake of the II Vatican Council, have been gathered in Rome under the sponsorship of the Pontifical Council for the Laity to reflect on the joy of the Gospel as a specifically missionary joy. Click below to hear our report In remarks prepared for the occasion, Pope Francis called on participants and on all the members of new communities and movements to maintain the freshness of their charism , respect the freedom of each person , and always to strive for communion , telling them that their success in these regards will be the measure of their attainment of full ecclesial maturity.  “The Movements and New Communities that you represent,” the Holy Father told his guests, “are moving towards a deeper sense of belonging to the Church, a maturity that requires vigilance in the path of daily conversion.” The Holy Father said that, without an authentic conversion of heart and mind, the Gospel cannot be proclaimed, while at the same time, if we are not open to mission, conversion is not possible and faith becomes sterile.  “Do not forget,” said Pope Francis, “that to reach this goal [of full ecclesial maturity], conversion must be missionary: the strength to overcome temptations and insufficiencies comes from the profound joy of proclaiming the Gospel, which is the foundation of your charisms.”  (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 22 hours
(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People issued a message on Friday at the end of their Seventh World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, held at the Vatican, from 17 to 21 November. The final message says congress participants “encourage all actors, including civil society and governments, to work towards more comprehensive and just immigration policies, fully implementing international conventions to guarantee job opportunities and better living conditions, to prevent exploitation and/or trafficking of migrant workers.” Read the complete message below: The 7th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, organized by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, was held at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Vatican City, from Monday, November 17th to Friday, November 21st, 2014. The proceedings focused on the phenomenon of migration and migrants, in the light of the theme: “Cooperation and Development in the Pastoral Care of Migrations”. Gathering together nearly 300 participants, which include delegates from Bishops' Conferences, commissions and Church structures and partners from over 90 countries, the objective of the Congress was to reflect upon the current migration situation that so strongly marks modern-day society, and to seek and propose a renewed Catholic pastoral approach to the phenomenon within the Church at international, regional and local levels. The pastoral care of the Catholic Church, expressed in specific programs and plans of action, takes into consideration the particular situation of economic migrants, who live between the realities of uprooting and that of integration. Pastoral programs concern the spiritual search of the sense of life, experiences of welcome, sharing and reconciliation, the proclamation of the Gospel, the Liturgy, the celebration of the Sacraments. At the same time, the pastoral solicitude also cares towards basic needs of migrant workers such as legal assistance in the regularization process of their status, the defense and the promotion of their dignity, decent jobs and housing. Christian communities continue to be spaces of hope and action, advocating on behalf of migrants (particularly children, unaccompanied minors, women and persons with disabilities), that raise awareness, protect and extend the necessary assistance, whatever their status. Presentations, discussions and sharing of experiences helped to address the issue of the migrants’ family with all positive aspects that contribute to strengthen and promote fruitful human relationships, which are the basis and the core of all societies. Emphasis has been given on family separation, caused by the lack of adequate migration policies, which is especially challenging in countries with a large diaspora. Furthermore, the feminization of migration is a new characteristic. Migrant women are no longer moving within processes of family reunification mainly, but also as bread-winners. Migration, therefore, can be an instrument of empowerment for women but also a threat when criminal nets take advantage of their vulnerability and force them into smuggling, trafficking, and even prostitution and labor exploitation. Similarly, young migrants carry a great potential in building bridges of cooperation between societies towards development. The pastoral care of young migrants concentrates on their religious and integral formation, assisting them to be active bridges between cultures, both for the benefit of society and Christian communities. Migration continues to be a sign of modern times, deeply marked by growing fear and lack of hospitality. In this regard, the centrality of the human person and the respect for his/her dignity are of even greater importance, preceding any religious, ethnic, social or cultural differences. The participants of the Meeting encourage all actors, including civil society and governments, to work towards more comprehensive and just immigration policies, fully implementing international conventions to guarantee job opportunities and better living conditions, to prevent exploitation and/or trafficking of migrant workers. The participants appeal to the responsibility of the whole international Community to contribute to the common good and to the universality of human rights, underlining the need for a positive change in attitude towards migrants. Finally, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and the participants recommend collaborative action amongst all Church structures in the countries of origin, transit and destination to implement the considerations and conclusions of the Congress, which will be published.   (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 22 hours
(Vatican Radio) All Christians and “not just the few” are called to intensify their missionary spirit and go out to proclaim the joy of the Gospel, said Pope Francis. He issued the call on Saturday in speaking at the Vatican to a group of more than 700 participants in Italy’s National Missionary Congress, which was organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Missio Foundation. Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: “Every generation is called to be missionary,” he said. Reflecting on the theme of the congress, based on God’s call of the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh and to call the people to conversion, the Pope said the Church is called to be outbound and to bring the Gospel to all nations, “without distinction.” He urged Christians “to go out and not to remain indifferent to extreme poverty, war, violence in our cities, the abandonment of the elderly, the anonymity of so many people in need and the distance we keep from the least among us.” Christians, he said, must “be workers for peace, that peace which the Lord gives us each day and of which the world is very much in need.” Calling Christians to live in hope, he said: “Missionaries never renounce the dream of peace, even when they live difficulties and persecution, which today has returned to make itself felt strongly.” Pope Francis said being an outbound Church it “means to overcome the temptation to speak among ourselves, forgetting the many who wait for a word of mercy from us, a word of comfort, of hope.” He called Christians to go out to the periphery, like Jesus, who lived  “far from the centres of power of the Roman Empire…. He met the poor, the sick, the possessed, sinners, prostitutes, gathering around him a small number of disciples and some women who listened to him and served him.” Jesus’ “word was the beginning of a turning point in history, the beginning of a spiritual and human revolution, the Good News of a Lord, who died and rose for us,” he said. The mission of bringing the joy of the Gospel to the world “is accomplished by all Christians, not just the few,” the Pope affirmed. “Our Christian vocation asks us to be carriers of this missionary spirit so as to bring about a true ‘missionary conversion’ of the whole Church.”   Below are excerpts from the Pope’s message, translated by Vatican Radio: Dear brothers and sisters,  … The program for your conference takes inspiration from when the Lord said to the prophet Jonah: “Go to the great city of Nineveh.” Jonah, however, initially runs away. … But then he goes, and in Nineveh, everything changes: God shows his mercy and the city is converted. Mercy changes the story of individuals and even of peoples. … The invitation extended to Jonah is today extended to you. And this is important. Every generation is called to be missionary. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I spoke of an outbound Church. A missionary Church cannot but be outbound, unafraid of encountering, of discovering newness, of speaking of the joy of the Gospel. To all, without distinction. The diverse realities that you represent in the Church in Italy indicate that the spirit missio ad gentes must become the mission of the Church in the world: going out, listening to the cry of the poor and of those further afield, encountering all and proclaiming the joy of the Gospel. I thank you for what you do in your various roles: as part of the offices of the Italian Episcopal Conference, as directors of diocesan offices, consecrated and lay people together. I ask you to commit yourselves with passion to keep this spirit alive. I see with joy many lay people together with bishops and priests. The mission is accomplished by all Christians, not just the few. Our Christian vocation asks us to be carriers of this missionary spirit so as to bring about a true “missionary conversion” of the whole Church, as I hoped for in Evangelii Gaudium. The Church in Italy has given numerous priests and lay people fidei donum, who chose to spend their lives building the Church in the peripheries of the world, among the poor and the distant. This is a gift for the universal Church and for all peoples. I exhort you not to let yourselves be robbed of the hope and the dream of changing the world with the Gospel, starting with the human and existential peripheries. To go out means to overcome the temptation to speak among ourselves, forgetting the many who wait for a word of mercy from us, a word of comfort, of hope. The Gospel of Jesus is realized in history. Jesus himself was a man in the periphery, from Galilee, far from the centres of power of the Roman Empire and from Jerusalem. He met the poor, the sick, the possessed, sinners, prostitutes, gathering around him a small number of disciples and some women who listened to him and served him. And yet, his word was the beginning of a turning point in history, the beginning of a spiritual and human revolution, the Good News of a Lord, who died and rose for us. Dear brothers and sisters, I encourage you to intensify the missionary spirit and enthusiasm for the mission and to hold high your commitment—in the dioceses, missionary institutes, communities, movements and associations—the spirit of Evangelii gaudium, without being discouraged by the difficulties, which are never lacking. Sometimes, even in the Church, we get caught by pessimism, which risks depriving many men and women of the proclamation of the Gospel. Let us go forward with hope! The many missionary martyrs of the faith and of charity show us that victory is only in love and in a life spent for the Lord and for neighbour, starting with the poor. The poor are the travel companions of an outbound Church because they are the first that we encounter. The poor are also your evangelizers because they indicate to you the peripheries where the Gospel is yet to be proclaimed and lived. To go out and not to remain indifferent to extreme poverty, war, violence in our cities, the abandonment of the elderly, the anonymity of so many people in need and the distance we keep from the least among us. To go out and to be workers for peace, that “peace” which the Lord gives us each day and of which the world is very much in need. Missionaries never renounce the dream of peace, even when they live difficulties and persecution, which today has returned to make itself felt strongly. May the Lord make the passion for the mission grow within you and render you wherever witnesses of his love and mercy. And may the Holy Virgin, the Star of the New Evangelization, protect you and render you strong in the task that has been entrusted to you. I ask you to pray for me and I bless you from the heart.      (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 14 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at the Mass celebrated in St Peter's Square on Christ the King Sunday, during the course of which he canonized six new saints: Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal, Amato Ronconi, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Nicola da Longobardi, and Ludovico da Casoria. Below, please find the full text of the official English translation of the Holy Father's prepared homily. ******************************************************** Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (23 November 2014)   Today’s liturgy invites us to fix our gaze on Christ, the King of the Universe.  The beautiful prayer of the Preface reminds us that his kingdom is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace”.  The readings we have listened to show us how Jesus established his kingdom; how he brings it about in history; and what he now asks of us. First, how Jesus brought about his kingdom :  he did so through his closeness and tenderness towards us.  He is the Shepherd, of whom the Prophet Ezekiel spoke in the First Reading (cf. 34:11-12, 15-17).  These verses are interwoven with verbs which show the care and love that the Shepherd has for his flock: to search, to look over, to gather the dispersed, to lead into pasture, to bring to rest, to seek the lost sheep, to lead back the confused, to bandage the wounded, to heal the sick, to take care of, to pasture.  All of these are fulfilled in Jesus Christ:  he is truly the “great Shepherd of the sheep and the protector of our souls” (cf. Heb 13:20; 1 Pt 2:25). Those of us who are called to be pastors in the Church cannot stray from this example, if we do not want to become hirelings.  In this regard the People of God have an unerring sense for recognizing good shepherds and in distinguishing them from hirelings. After his victory, that is after his Resurrection, how has Jesus advanced his kingdom?  The Apostle Paul, in the First Letter to the Corinthians, says: “for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (15:25).  The Father, little by little, subjects all to the Son and, at the same time, the Son subjects all to the Father.  Jesus is not a King according to earthly ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father, to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfilment.  In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and the Son.  The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father.  “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:26).  And in the end, when all things will be under the sovereignty of Jesus, and everything, including Jesus himself, will be subjected to the Father, God will be all in all (cf. 1 Cor 15:28). The Gospel teaches what Jesus’ kingdom requires of us : it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged.  This is the great parable of the final judgement in Matthew 25.  The King says: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (25:34-36).  The righteous will ask him: when did we do all this?  And he will answer them: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” ( Mt 25:40). The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus’ works of mercy through which he brought about his kingdom.  The one who accomplishes these works shows that he has welcomed Christ’s sovereignty, because he has opened his heart to God’s charity.  In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters.  Upon this will depend our entry into, or exclusion from, the kingdom of God: our belonging to the one side or the other.  Through his victory, Jesus has opened to us his kingdom.  But it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now, by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who ask for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity.  If we truly love them, we will be willing to share with them what is most precious to us, Jesus himself and his Gospel. Today the Church places before us the example of these new saints.  Each in his or her own way served the kingdom of God, of which they became heirs, precisely through works of generous devotion to God and their brothers and sisters.  They responded with extraordinary creativity to the commandment of love of God and neighbour.  They dedicated themselves, without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims.  Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and measure of their unconditional love of God.  In fact, they sought and discovered love in a strong and personal relationship with God, from whence springs forth true love for one’s neighbour.  In the hour of judgement, therefore, they heard that tender invitation: “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” ( Mt 25:34). Through the rite of canonization, we have confessed once again the mystery of God’s kingdom and we have honoured Christ the King, the Shepherd full of love for his sheep.  May our new saints, through their witness and intercession, increase within us the joy of walking in the way of the Gospel and our resolve to embrace the Gospel as the compass of our lives.  Let us follow in their footsteps, imitating their faith and love, so that our hope too may be clothed in immortality.  May we not allow ourselves to be distracted by other earthly and fleeting interests.  And may Mary, our Mother and Queen of all Saints, guide us on the way to the kingdom of heaven.  Amen. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 14 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegram expressing his condolences to the family of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, who died on Saturday, November 22 nd , at the age of 98. Cardinal Angelini was born in Rome in 1916 – the last native of the city to be made a Cardinal – and served the Church under seven different Popes. In the telegram, the Holy Father remembers Cardinal Angelini as, “A dear and esteemed pastor,” who, “exercised his long and intense ministry to build up the Church in Rome, in Italy and in the world, first as part of Catholic Action, then with praiseworthy apostolic zeal in hospitals and nursing homes in Rome, [and] finally as President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers.” Pope Francis goes on to promise prayers and spiritual closeness to Cardinal Angelini’s family, and imparts his Apostolic Benediction upon all those who mourn his passing. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 14 hours
O Santo Padre Francisco, depois de celebrar a missa na esplanada em frente à Basílica de São Pedro e canonizar quatro italianos e dois indianos, rezou o Angelus com milhares de peregrinos que estavam presentes e dirigiu-lhes as seguintes palavras: "Queridos irmãos e irmãs. Na conclusão desta celebração desejo c... 2 days 17 hours
No dia da Solenidade de Cristo Rei, o Santo Padre Francisco celebrou a Santa Missa na esplanada da Basílica de São Pedro, e deu o título de santos a quatro beatos italianos e dois da Índia. Ante uma praça de São Pedro repleta de fiéis e peregrinos, ante as pinturas na fachada da basílica dos seis religiosos, o Sa... 2 days 17 hours
(Vatican Radio) People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord's Temple clean. Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God because it had been profaned and with it the People of God.  The Temple had been defiled with the gravest of sins: scandal. "People are good – continued Pope Francis- people went to the Temple and did not look at these things, they sought God and prayed ... but they had to change their money into coins to make offers". The people of God did not go to the Temple for these people, for those who were selling things, they went because it was the Temple of God" and "there was corruption that scandalized the people".  Pope Francis recalled the biblical story of Anna, a humble woman, mother of Samuel, who goes to the temple to ask for the grace of a child: "she whispered her prayers silently" while the priest and his two sons were corrupt, they exploited the pilgrims, they scandalized the people. “I think of how our attitude can scandalize people - said Pope Francis – with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness ... How often when we enter a church do we see  – even today – do we see a price list hanging there "for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions". And people are scandalized". "Once , as a newly ordained priest, I was with a group of college students and one couple wanted to get married. They went to a parish, but they wanted a wedding ceremony with the Mass. And, the parish secretary there said: 'No, no, you cannot' - 'Why can’t we have a Mass? If the Council always recommends people to have a ceremony with the Mass ... '-' No, you cannot, because it can’t last more than 20 minutes'-' But why? '-'Because there are other slots [in the timetable for ceremonies]'-'But, we want the Mass! '-' So you will have to pay for two slots! '. So in order to have a wedding ceremony with the Mass had to pay two slots. This is the sin of scandal". The Pope added: "We know what Jesus says to those who are the cause of scandal: 'Better to be thrown into the sea'". " When those who are in the Temple – be they priests, lay people, secretaries, but who manage the Temple, who ministry of the Temple - become businessmen, people are scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity too! Everyone. Because if I see this in my parish, I have to have the courage to say these things to the parish priest. And the people are scandalized. It is interesting: the people of God can forgive their priests, when they are weak; when they slip on a sin ... the people know how to forgive them. But there are two things that the people of God cannot forgive: a priest attached to money and a priest who mistreats people. This they cannot forgive! It is scandalous when the Temple, the House of God, becomes a place of business, as in the case of that wedding: the church was being rented out”. Jesus "is not angry" - said the Pope - "it is the Wrath of God, zeal for the House of God" because you cannot serve two masters, "either you worship the living God, or your worship money". " Why does Jesus have an issue with money? Because redemption is free; it is God’s free gift, He comes to brings us the all-encompassing gratuity of God’s love. So when the Church or churches start doing business, then it is said that ….salvation is not so free…This is why Jesus takes the whip to hand to carry out this act of the purification of the Temple. Today the Liturgy celebrates the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple: as a young girl ... A simple woman, like Anna,   and in that moment the Blessed Virgin Mary enters. May she teach all of us, pastors and those who have pastoral responsibility, to keep the Temple clean, to receive with love those who come, as if each one were the Blessed Virgin”. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 20 hours