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Pope Francis Puts The Poor Front And Center

NPR

Pope Francis Puts The Poor Front And Center

Sylvia Poggioli May 20, 2013

Pope Francis blesses a child Sunday after the Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. (AFP/Getty Images)

Over the past week, Pope Francis has launched a crescendo of attacks on the global financial system and what he calls a “cult of money” that does not help the poor.

The 2-month-old papacy of Francis — the Argentina-born Jorge Bergoglio — is shaping up as a papacy focused on the world’s downtrodden. And in sharp contrast with the two preceding papacies, this one even contains echoes of the Latin American liberation theology movement that John Paul II and Benedict XVI had repressed.

The new pope’s popularity is growing day by day. When Francis appears in St. Peter’s Square, the crowd shouts his name in every imaginable language. Women hold out their babies to be kissed; everyone wants to touch him. Read more

Examine what prevents intimacy with Christ, Pope says

Examine what prevents intimacy with Christ, Pope says

Pope Francis leads the Bishops of Italy in a solemn Profession of Faith in St. Peter’s Basilica for their 65th General Assembly May 23, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 29, 2013 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The faithful need to examine their lives to find the “riches” that prevent them from “getting close to Jesus” like the young man who refuses to give his possessions to the poor in order to follow Christ.

Pope Francis focused his homily May 27 on the episode in the Gospel in which Jesus asks a young man to give all his riches to the poor and then follow him. However, rather than following Christ’s call, the young man goes away sad.

During his daily Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis told those present that we all have “riches” that create obstacles in our intimacy with Jesus. Read more

Pope: when Christians lack difficulties, ‘something is wrong’

Pope: when Christians lack difficulties, ‘something is wrong’

By Kevin Jones
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 28, 2013 / 04:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Faithful Christians will always face difficulties, said Pope Francis on Tuesday, warning that a worldly, career-based approach to faith avoids the suffering and persecution inherent in following Christ.

“Many Christians, tempted by the spirit of the world, think that following Jesus is good because it can become a career, they can get ahead,” the Pope said.

“When a Christian has no difficulties in life – when everything is fine, everything is beautiful – something is wrong.” Read more

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

Vatican City, 25 May 2013 (VIS) – Members of the “Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontefice” Foundation, which was established 20 years ago by Blessed John Paul II, were received this afternoon by Pope Francis during their annual international conference. This year’s theme is “Rethinking Solidarity for Work: Challenges of the 21st Century”.

In his address to them, the Bishop of Rome noted that the foundation bears the same name as an encyclical published by John Paul II on the centenary anniversary of “Rerum Novarum” and has, therefore, the Church’s social doctrine as the scope of its analysis and action. “Rethinking solidarity,” he said, “doesn’t mean questioning the recent Magisterium that, in fact, demonstrates ever more its vision and its relevance. Rather, ‘rethinking’ seems to me to mean two things: first of all combining the Magisterium with socio-economic development that, being constant and quick, always presents new aspects and second, ‘rethinking’ means going more in depth, reflecting further, to make all of a value’s worth emerge—solidarity in this case—which draws upon the Gospel profoundly, that is, upon Jesus Christ and thus contains inexhaustible potential.” Read more

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

 
Pope Francis rides through St. Peters Square after Mass on April 28, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 25, 2013 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking to an international group dedicated to promoting education of the Church’s social teaching, Pope Francis called for a new economic view that places the human person at the center.

“We must return to the centrality of man, to a more ethical view of business and human relations, without the fear of losing something,” the Pope said on May 25.

Pope Francis addressed members of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice at the end of their three-day conference at the Vatican. Founded by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1993, the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Read more

Papal encyclicals expected on faith and poverty, bishop reveals

Papal encyclicals expected on faith and poverty, bishop reveals

Pope Francis welcomes Benedict XVI back to the Vatican at Mater Ecclesia monastery on May 2, 2013. Credit: L’Ossevatore Romano/ANSA.

Vatican City, May 24, 2013 / 02:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- According to an Italian bishop, Benedict XVI is concluding work on what was to have been his encyclical on faith, and Pope Francis will be writing an encyclical on poverty.

“Benedict XVI is finishing writing the encyclical on faith which will be signed by Pope Francis. Following this, he himself will prepare his first encyclical on the poor: Beati pauperes,” Bishop Luigi Martella of the Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi diocese wrote  May 23 on his diocesan website.

“Beati pauperes” is Latin for “Blessed are the poor,” and Bishop Martella added that it is to be about poverty “understood not in an ideological and political sense, but in the sense of the Gospel.” Read more

Pope Calls for Ethics Reforms, End to ‘Cult of Money’

Pope Calls for Ethics Reforms, End to ‘Cult of Money’

From CNS, Staff and other sources

 

In his strongest remarks yet concerning the world’s economic and financial crises, the pope said, “Money has to serve, not to rule.

“We have created new idols,” Pope Francis told a group of diplomats gathered at the Vatican on May 16, and the “golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.” According to Pope Francis, a major reason behind the increase in social and economic woes worldwide “is in our relationship with money and our acceptance of its power over ourselves and our society.” He called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor, promotes the common good and allows states to regulate markets.

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, S.J., told journalists it was the pope’s “first forceful speech on the economic and financial crisis,” social justice and the attention needed to the world’s poor. Father Lombardi described the speech as “in continuity with his previous talks on these subjects” as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. “But as pope it is his first powerful and explicit speech,” touching on such themes in-depth, he said. The pope made his remarks during a speech welcoming four new ambassadors as they presented their credentials to the Vatican. Read more

Pope Francis at Mass: be salt of the earth

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis at Mass: be salt of the earth


 

 

 

(Vatican Radio) That Christians might spread the spiritual salt of faith, hope and charity: this was Pope Francis’ exhortation at Mass Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. The Pope warned against the risk of becoming insipid, “Museum-piece Christians.”

In his homily, Pope Francis focused on the savour that Christians are called to give to their own lives and to others’. The Holy Father said that salt the Lord gives us is the salt of faith, hope and charity. But, he warned, we must be careful that this salt, which is given to us by the certainty that Jesus died and rose again to save us, “does not lose its flavour, does not lose its strength.” This salt, he continued, “is not for keeping, because if the salt is preserved in a bottle it does not do anything: it is good for nothing”:

Salt makes sense when you [use] it in order to make things more tasty. I also consider that salt stored in the bottle, with moisture, loses strength and is rendered useless. The salt that we have received is to be given out, to be given away, [in order] to spice things up: otherwise, it becomes bland and useless. We must ask the Lord not to [let us] become Christians with flavour-less salt, with salt that stays closed in the bottle. Salt also has another special feature: when salt is used well, one does not notice the taste of salt. The savour of salt – it cannot be perceived! What one tastes is the flavour of the food: salt helps improve the flavor of the meal.

“When we preach faith, with this salt,” said Pope Francis, “those who receive the proclamation, receive it each according to his peculiarity, as [happens when salt is used judiciously] on food.” So, “Each with his own peculiarities receives the salt and becomes better [for it].” The Holy Father went on to explain that the “originality” that Christian faith brings is therefore not something uniform:

The Christian originality is not a uniformity! It takes each one as he is, with his own personality, with his own characteristics, his culture – and leaves him with that, because it is a treasure. However, it gives one something more: it gives flavour! This Christian originality is so beautiful, because when we want to make a uniformity – all salted in the same way – things will be like when the woman throws in too much salt and one tastes only salt and not the meal. The Christian originality is this: each is as he is, with the gifts the Lord has given him.

“This,” the Pope continued, “is the salt that we have to give.” A salt that is “not to be kept, but to be given,” – and this, he said, “means a little [bit] of transcendence”: “To get out there with the message, to get out there with this richness that we have in salt, and give it to others.” On the other hand, he pointed out, there are two “ways out” for the salt to take, so that it does not spoil. First: to give the salt “in the service of meals, service to others, to serve the people.” Second: “transcendence toward the author of the salt, the creator.” The salt, he reiterated, “in order to keep its flavour, has need not only of being given through preaching,” but, “also needs the other transcendence, of prayer, of adoration”:

In this way is the salt conserved, [in this way it keeps] its flavor. With the worship of the Lord I go beyond myself to the Lord, and with the proclamation of the Gospel I go out of myself to give the message. If we do not do this, however – these two things, these two transcendences, to give the salt – the salt will remain in the bottle, and we will become ‘museum-piece Christians’. We can show the salt: this is my salt – and how lovely it is! This is the salt that I received in Baptism, this is what I received in Confirmation, this is what I received in catechesis – But look: museum-piece Christians! A salt without flavor, a salt that does nothing.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri concelebrated, The Mass was attended by a group of priests and lay collaborators from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=694853
of the Vatican Radio website

 

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Vatican City, May 22, 2013 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Every human person despite his or her beliefs can do good, and a sharing in good works is the prime place for encounter among those who disagree, Pope Francis said at his Mass today.

“The Lord created us in his image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and he does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and avoid evil. All of us,” the Pope taught in his homily May 22 at St. Martha’s residence in the Vatican.

“We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” Read more