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Holy Week is time to follow Jesus in search of lost sheep, pope says

POPE-AUDIENCE Mar-27-2013 (760 words) With photos. xxxi

Holy Week is time to follow Jesus in search of lost sheep, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Holy Week is a time to follow Jesus out of one’s parish or group and out of one’s comfort zone to go with him in search of the lost sheep, Pope Francis said.

“There is such a great need to bring (people) the living presence of Jesus, who is merciful and rich in love,” the pope said March 27 at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The pope began very simply, saying in Italian: “Good morning. I’m happy to welcome you to my first general audience.” Read more

For Catholics, a new kind of pro-creation

Guest Voices

For Catholics, a new kind of pro-creation

 

By Christiana Z. Peppard, Published: March 26

Strap on your sandals, Catholics, during this Holy Week journey into Jerusalem. Pope Francis is guiding the global church towards two major right-to-life issues: poverty and the environment. Take heed: it’s not just about prophylaxis.

First, poverty. Francis has called for a “poor church, a church for the poor.” Certainly, the Bible is rife with injunctions to care for the poor, and Catholic social teaching insists on the theological and ethical imperative known as the “preferential option for the poor.” But has any pope ever talked the talk while walking the walk? Enter Francis, who has decided to not live in the papal apartment (he will live in the Vatican guesthouse), who has eschewed highly filigreed garments, and who has constantly spoken of humility and poverty. Might this papacy be less about pontifical pomp and theological rhetoric than about attention to concrete circumstance? That would be theology as praxis: where the word of God hits the ground, and keeps walking. Read more

Pope: Open you hearts to the sweetness of God’s forgiveness

Vatican Radio

Pope: Open you hearts to the sweetness of God’s forgiveness

(Vatican Radio) Tuesday of Holy Week was marked in the Vatican by morning mass presided by Pope Francis in the chapel of Casa Sancta Marta. Holy See press office director Fr. Lombardi has informed press that the Pope has decided to stay at the residence close to the Paul VI audience hall for now. Pope Francis has moved into a larger apartment and goes each day to the Apostolic Palace for work. Tuesday mornings congregation was composed of guests currently lodging at the residence along with the Holy Father.

Commenting on the Gospel of the day, John Chapter 13, which recounts Judas’ betrayal of Christ, the Pope noted “everyone experiences the dark night of the sinner”, but Jesus “has an embrace” for us all. Read more

Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at youth prison

Pope to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at youth prison

Pope Francis in Paul VI Hall during an audience on March 16, 2013. Credit: InterMirifica.net.

Vatican City, Mar 21, 2013 / 09:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a youth detention center rather than the traditional Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Vatican says.

On March 28, Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate the Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the morning, but then go to the Casal del Marmo youth detention center rather than the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

This tradition is one that new pontiff has practiced since his days as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

During that time, then-Cardinal Bergoglio would celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in a hospital, prison or shelter for the poor. Read more

Pope celebrates Mass for Vatican gardeners, janitors

Pope celebrates Mass for Vatican gardeners, janitors

 
Pope Francis sits in the back of the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae before celebrating Mass with the Vatican gardeners and janitors March 22, 2013. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Mar 22, 2013 / 04:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis celebrated a small Mass for the Vatican’s janitors and gardeners on the morning of March 22 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano described the Mass as “a simple celebration to which the Pope invited employees of the garden and cleaning services of the Governorate of Vatican City State.”

The Pontiff’s short homily commented on the daily readings, explaining that we “stone” Jesus in our weak and vulnerable brothers and sisters when we have hearts of stone, according to the publication. Read more

Pope says world religious leaders united by truth, beauty

Pope says world religious leaders united by truth, beauty

By Estefania Aguirre

Vatican City, Mar 20, 2013 / 06:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told world religious leaders that the desire to search for truth, beauty and goodness is what keeps them all united.

“We feel close to all who, despite being from other traditions and religions, feel the desire to look for truth, beauty and goodness,” said the new Pope when he received the leaders at the Vatican today.

He met with Muslim leaders, the head of Rome’s Jewish community Rabbi Riccardo di Segni and heads of other Christian denominations including Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in Turkey. Read more

Pope Francis and creation

Vatican Radio

 

Pope Francis and creation

(Vatican Radio) Since the beginning of his Pontificate, Pope Francis has spoken of the importance of protecting creation. At his Installation Mass on Tuesday the Holy Father said, “let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”

Speaking about Pope Francis’ message, FAO Assistant Director-General of Forests, Eduardo Rojas-Briales says, “His predecessor Benedict XVI had already started a very important environmental discourse.”

Pope Francis, he continued, has “strengthened this linkage between the religious message as well as the need to keep creation and to keep nature in a good state.”

Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Eduardo Rojas-Briales

 

10 must-read quotations from Pope Francis: portrait of a forceful thinker

10 must-read quotations from Pope Francis: portrait of a forceful thinker

by The Editors Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:20 EST

March 15, 2013 (Mercatornet.com) – Who is Jorge Bergoglio, the new Pope? What does he think about contemporary issues? The handful of translated quotes which constitute his work in English up to now do not give a rounded idea of what he thinks. Here are a few paragraphs from his 2011 book Sobre el cielo y la tierra (On heaven and earth). It is a wide-ranging dialogue with a well-known Argentinian rabbi, Abraham Skorka, on religious and social topics.  

The future of religion

Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio (Now Pope Francis)

There have been worse times for religions than the present. Nonetheless they pulled through. Perhaps nowadays there is a scarcity of religious people, but there were times in the past when there was a scarcity of virtue. There have been corrupt times in the Church… There were very difficult times and nonetheless religion revived. Suddenly there appear people like Teresa of Calcutta who revolutionise the notion of personal dignity, who spend their time… helping people to die. These deeds create mysticism and renew the religious sense.

In the history of the Catholic Church, the true renovators are the saints. They are the true reformers, the ones who change, transform, lead and revive spiritual paths. Another example: Francis of Assisi, who introduced a new attitude towards poverty in Christianity when faced with the luxury, pride and vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time. He introduced a mysticism of poverty, of detachment, and he changed history. Read more

Pope Francis: What’s in a Name? 3 Priorities for the Church

Pope Francis: What’s in a Name? 3 Priorities for the Church

In this touching video, Pope Francis explains to journalists the reasons he chose the name “Francis” for his papacy.  It is clear to me this was a Spirit-led moment in which he responded to what he felt were several of the most-pressing needs in our modern world.  Expressing his longing that the Church become poor and for the poor, he described the charism of Francis:  “the man of peace, the man of the poor, the man who loves and guards creation.”

What happened in those few minutes he describes as the final conclave votes were counted was that the Pope’s heart was moved by the suggestion of a friend to choose a name that represents exactly what the world needs most right now: peace, solidarity with the poor, and care for the environment. Read more

Why the pope chose the name Francis

Speaking to the thousands of journalists and camera operators that covered the papal transition, Pope Francis recounted the story of his election and his choice of the name Francis.

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