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Pope Francis, The People’s Pope

 Pope Francis, The People’s Pope

Pope Francis

Pope FrancisIllustration by Bryan Drury for TIME; Photo reference: Alessandra Tarantino / AP

He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century

Pope Francis was chosen by the magazine for his impact on the world and news in 2013.

By Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias Dec. 11, 2013269 Comments

On the edge of Buenos Aires is a nothing little street called Pasaje C, a shot of dried mud leading into a slum from what passes for a main road, the garbage-strewn Mariano Acosta. There is a church, the Immaculate Virgin, toward the end of the ­pasaje—Spanish for passage—where, on one occasion, the local priest and a number of frightened residents took refuge deep in the sanctuary when rival drug gangs opened fire. Beyond the church, Pasaje C branches into the rest of the parish: more rutted mud and cracked concrete form Pasajes A to K. Brick chips from the hasty construction of squatter housing coagulate along what ought to be sidewalks. The word asesino—­murderer—is scrawled in spray-paint on the sooty wall of a burned-out house, which was torched just days before in retaliation for yet another shooting. Packs of dogs sprawl beneath wrecked cars. Children wander heedless of traffic, because nothing can gather speed on these jagged roads. But even Pasaje C can lead to Rome. Read more

Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics

Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics

Pope Francis delivers  a speech March 15, 2013, during a meeting of the world’s cardinals. (Osservatore Romano/EPA)Pope Francis delivers a speech March 15, 2013, during a meeting of the world’s cardinals. (Osservatore Romano/EPA)

Pope Francis has released a sharply worded take on capitalism and the world’s treatment of its poor, criticizing “trickle-down” economic policies in no uncertain terms.

In the first lengthy writing of his papacy — also known as an “apostolic exhortation” — Francis says such economic theories naively rely on the goodness of those in charge and create a “tyranny” of the markets.

“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” the pope wrote. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.” Read more

EVANGELII GAUDIUM

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
EVANGELII GAUDIUM
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
IN TODAY’S WORLD

INDEX

I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED [2-8]
II. THE DELIGHTFUL AND COMFORTING JOY OF EVANGELIZING [9-13]

Eternal newness [11-13]

III. THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE FAITH [14-18]

The scope and limits of this Exhortation [16-18]

CHAPTER ONE
THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY TRANSFORMATION [19]

I. A CHURCH WHICH GOES FORTH [20-24]

Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing [24]

II. PASTORAL ACTIVITY AND CONVERSION [25-33]

An ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred [27-33]

III. FROM THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL [34-39]

IV. A MISSION EMBODIED WITHIN HUMAN LIMITS [40-45]

V. A MOTHER WITH AN OPEN HEART [46-49]

CHAPTER TWO
AMID THE CRISIS OF COMMUNAL COMMITMENT [50-51]

I. SOME CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD [52-75]

No to an economy of exclusion [53-54]
No to the new idolatry of money
[55-56]
No to a financial system which rules rather than serves
[57-58]
No to the inequality which spawns violence
[59-60]
Some cultural challenges
[61-67]
Challenges to inculturating the faith
[68-70]
Challenges from urban cultures
[71-75]

II. TEMPTATIONS FACED BY PASTORAL WORKERS [76-109]

Yes to the challenge of a missionary spirituality [78-80]
No to selfishness and spiritual sloth
[81-83]
No to a sterile pessimism
[84-86]
Yes to the new relationships brought by Christ
[87-92]
No to spiritual worldliness
[93-97]
No to warring among ourselves
[98-101]
Other ecclesial challenges
[102-109]

CHAPTER THREE
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL [110]

I. THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL [111-134]

A people for everyone [112-114]
A people of many faces
[115-118]
We are all missionary disciples
[119-121]
The evangelizing power of popular piety
[122-126]
Person to person
[127-129]
Charisms at the service of a communion which evangelizes
[130-131]
Culture, thought and education
[132-134]

II. THE HOMILY [135-144]

The liturgical context [137-138]
A mother’s conversation
[139-141]
Words which set hearts on fire
[142-144]

III. PREPARING TO PREACH [145-159]

Reverence for truth [146-148]
Personalizing the word
[149-151]
Spiritual reading
[152-153]
An ear to the people
[154-155]
Homiletic resources
[156-159]

IV. EVANGELIZATION AND THE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE KERYGMA [160- 175]

Kerygmatic and mystagogical catechesis [163-168]
Personal accompaniment in processes of growth
[169-173]
Centred on the word of God
[174-175]

CHAPTER FOUR
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF EVANGELIZATION [176]

I. COMMUNAL AND SOCIETAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KERYGMA [177-185]

Confession of faith and commitment to society [178-179]
The kingdom and its challenge
[180-181]
The Church’s teaching on social questions
[182-185]

II. THE INCLUSION OF THE POOR IN SOCIETY [186-216]

In union with God, we hear a plea [187-192]
Fidelity to the Gospel, lest we run in vain
[193-196]
The special place of the poor in God’s people
[197-201]
The economy and the distribution of income
[202-208]
Concern for the vulnerable
[209-216]

III. THE COMMON GOOD AND PEACE IN SOCIETY [217-237]

Time is greater than space [222-225]
Unity prevails over conflict
[226-230]
Realities are more important than ideas
[231-233]
The whole is greater than the part
[234-237]

IV. SOCIAL DIALOGUE AS A CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE [238-258]

Dialogue between faith, reason and science [242-243]
Ecumenical dialogue
[244-246]
Relations with Judaism
[247-249]
Interreligious dialogue
[250-254]
Social dialogue in a context of religious freedom
[255-258]

CHAPTER FIVE
SPIRIT-FILLED EVANGELIZERS [259-261]

I. REASONS FOR A RENEWED MISSIONARY IMPULSE [262-283]

Personal encounter with the saving love of Jesus [264-267]
The spiritual savour of being a people
[268-274]
The mysterious working of the risen Christ and his Spirit
[275-280]
The missionary power of intercessory prayer
[281-283]

II. MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [284-288]

Jesus’ gift to his people [285-286]
Star of the new evangelization
[287-288]

The Pope’s bold new vision

The Pope’s bold new vision
November 26th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

The Pope’s bold new vision

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, Special to CNN 

(CNN)  Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a bold new document in Vatican parlance an “apostolic exhortation” called Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel.”

In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. In all my years as a Catholic, I cannot remember a papal document that was so thought-provoking, surprising and invigorating. Frankly, reading it thrilled me.

To me, it seems that with each new homily, address, interview, general audience message and letter, Francis is challenging himself and us with three questions, each of which flows naturally from the other:

First, why not look at things from a new perspective? Second, why not be open to doing things in a new way? And third, why not have a new vision for the church?

And what is Francis’ vision for the church?

Read more

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says

Greed destroys, money is God’s gift to use to help others, pope says


By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

POPE-MONEY Oct-21-2013 (350 words) xxxi

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said.

“Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to money), it destroys you.”

“How many destroyed families have we seen because of money problems, sibling against sibling, father against child,” he said during the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, according to Vatican Radio. Read more

De-coding Francis: Vatican media adviser offers “10 things to know”

De-coding Francis: Vatican media adviser offers “10 things to know”

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY — If people are still unsure about what to make of Pope Francis, the Vatican’s media adviser offered his take on decoding the pontiff.

GREG BURKE, MEDIA ADVISER TO VATICAN, PARTICIPATES IN PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT POPE'S PRESENCE ON TWITTER

Greg Burke, media adviser to the Vatican, participating in a Vatican press conference Dec. 3, 2012. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope greets people in wheelchairs after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square at Vatican

“Pope Francis is not a politically-correct pope,” rather, he is “a loyal son of the church” who presents the hard truths with a heavy dose of mercy, said Greg Burke, senior communications adviser to the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

The former U.S. journalist, who’s been based in Rome the past 25 years, gave a behind-the-scenes talk last week to hundreds of benefactors celebrating the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.

U.S. Msgr. Peter Wells — another top official at the Secretariat of State — also spoke at the same Oct. 18 event in the apostolic palace, where he gave his take on the reform of the curia and how they counteract secular media manipulating the pope’s message. Read more

Pope’s letter to non-believers in Italian paper La Repubblica

Pope’s letter to non-believers in Italian paper La Repubblica

(Vatican Radio) Does God forgive non-believers? Does absolute truth exist? And is God merely a creation of the human mind?
In a lengthy letter to the former editor of the Italian daily ‘La Repubblica’, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis shares reflections on these three questions and urges all non-believers to engage with Christians in an open and sincere conversation.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s report:

In the letter published on Wednesday, the Pope laments the impasse that has grown up over the centuries with those who see Christianity as ‘dark and superstitious,’ in opposition to the ‘light of reason’. Read more

Take Action, But Not Military Action, in Syria Advocate, Pray, and Fast for Peace

Take Action, But Not Military Action, in Syria
Advocate, Pray, and Fast for Peace

With Pope Francis, the Bishops, other faith leaders, and the world community, we at NETWORK deplore ongoing violence in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons on the Syrian people. We are gravely concerned with the suffering of millions of refugees and displaced people. We have issued a statement calling on political leaders to:

-Intensify U.S. diplomatic engagement with other nations in calling for a ceasefire and peace negotiations

-Ensure immediate, unrestricted access by humanitarian organizations to the people of Syria

-Provide humanitarian aid to all those affected by the ongoing violence in Syria and among Syrian refugee communities

NETWORK strongly encourages you to call your Representative, who may be one of many undecided on military action in Syria, and convey the above messages. The number for the Capitol Switchboard is: (202) 224-3121. If you do not know who your representative is, click here.

Coming to a position about how NETWORK should advise decision-makers to proceed was difficult. As we call our political leaders to peaceful action, we also encourage you to mobilize the power of prayer and spiritual community. NETWORK joins Catholic Sisters, including and especially the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Lebanon and Syria, and all who suffer violence and insecurity, in prayer. Join us and respond to the call of Pope Francis:  “We want a peaceful world, we want to be men and women of peace, and we want in our society, torn apart by divisions and conflict, that peace break out! War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.”

NETWORK invites you to accept Pope Francis’ invitation to all faithful, peace-seeking people to participate in a day of fasting and prayer tomorrow (Saturday), “invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world.” See the full text of the Pope’s appeal for peace here.  For more information on Saturday’s day of fasting and prayer visit usccb.org/Syria. Find the Vatican liturgy and livestream here. To connect on social media, use the hashtags #Fast4Syria and #PrayforPeace, and share reflections with others on NETWORK’s Facebook page
 

Invoking God’s great gift of peace, 

Claire Markham

Field Associate

NETWORK

P.S. You can also read statements on the ongoing conflict in Syria from these other Catholic communities: Maryknoll Office of Global ConcernsPax Christi InternationalSisters of Mercy, and Franciscan Action Network.

 

Encyclical Letter – Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LUMEN FIDEI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON FAITH

1. The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. Read more

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 26. His first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), was released July 5. (CNS/Paul Haring)5

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences.

The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three “theological virtues,” following Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” (2005) on charity and “Spe Salvi” (2007) on hope. Publication of the encyclical was one of the most awaited events of the Year of Faith which began in October 2012. Read more