Tag Archives: religion

Pope calls for prayer and fasting

Pope Francis has declared next Saturday, September 7, as a worldwide Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace. He will also be holding a five-hour vigil in St. Peter’s Square from 7 pm to Midnight next Saturday.

Egyptian bishops call current situation a “war against terrorism”

Here is translation of the statement made by Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, president of the Assembly of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Egypt, on the violent situation in Egypt.

With pain, but also with hope, the Catholic Church in Egypt is following what our country is experiencing: terrorist attacks, killings and the burning of churches, schools and state institutions. Therefore, out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, Christians and Muslims, we are trying to do our best to communicate with friendly organizations around the world to clarify for them the reality of events taking place in our country. We would like to express the following:

Our free, strong and conscious support for all state institutions, particularly the Armed Forces and the police for all their efforts in protecting our homeland.

Our appreciation of sincere nations to understand the nature of events while flatly rejecting any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt or to influence its sovereign decisions whatever the direction might be.

Our thanks to all Egyptian and international media that report the news and events objectively and impartially while condemning those media that promote lies and falsify the truth in order to mislead world public opinion.

Our thanks to our honorable Muslim compatriots who have stood by our side, as far as they could, in defending our churches and our institutions.

Lastly, we address the international conscious and all national leaders that they understand and believe that what is happening in Egypt now is not a political struggle between different factions, but a war against terrorism.

In conclusion, we express our condolences to all families and relatives of the victims. We ask the Lord to heal all the injured.

+ Ibrahim Isaac

Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copt Catholics
President of the Assembly
of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Egypt

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola – Wednesday, July 31

Today’s Readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. St. Ignatius lived about 400 years ago, a time when a lot of people were not being obedient to God and to His Church.

Ignatius was a soldier from the country of Spain. During a battle, he was hit by a cannonball, which shattered his leg. So of course he had to spend a lot of time in the hospital to recover. He liked to read adventure books, but the people in charge couldn’t find any books like that, so they gave him a book of the lives of the saints to read instead. And as Ignatius read that book, he found the lives of the saints more interesting than his own life, and he realized that up until then, he had not been obedient to God. Ignatius realized that God had a certain plan for him to follow.

Much later, after spending many years in prayer by himself, and many years studying in schools all around Europe, Ignatius felt that he was ready to begin doing special work for God. He founded a new religious order called the Society of Jesus, whose members, called Jesuits, made a special promise to God. They made four promises to God, and the fourth promise was a promise to be obedient to the Holy Father, the pope, doing whatever he asked them to do.

Immediately the pope asked the Jesuits to begin traveling throughout the world to teach the Catholic faith, and this is what they did. Today, there are Catholics in many parts of the world who were first taught the Faith by the Jesuits, and Jesuits today continue to have a special job in schools all over the world of teaching the Faith that Jesus gave us, and that the pope and the bishops of the world explain to us

News Briefs, July 29

Catholic News Service is the official news agency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Read their News Briefs for July 29.

Tuesday of the 17th week in ordinary time

Click here to see today’s readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus offers a point-by-point explanation of the parable that He preached in the passage proclaimed in the cycle of Ordinary Time weekdays two days earlier. The evangelists rarely offer us examples of Jesus explaining one of His parables, so today’s passage is insightful not only in terms of the content of this specific parable, but also in terms of Jesus’ method of using parables.

We might wonder, to start with, what the significance is of the evangelist telling us that it’s after “Jesus dismissed the crowds” that “His disciples approached Him” to ask for an explanation of the parable. This is an important distinction that the evangelist didn’t have to note for Jesus’ explanation to make sense. Perhaps the evangelist is highlighting the importance of petitioning God for deeper insight into His revealed Word.

Jesus explains the meanings of seven persons or things from the parable. This allegorical explanation of the parable is important because it’s in accord with the method of interpreting Jesus’ parables commonly found in the writings of the saints in the patristic and medieval periods of Church history. This method is often rejected today by scholars who offer their own theories about the interpretation of parables. It’s important to note that among those whom modern scholars criticize are not only canonized saints whose holiness is proven, but also—as we hear today—Our Lord Himself!

Pope distinguishes between homosexual orientation, gay lobby

Pope Francis has said that he does not judge homosexuals, including homosexual priests. “If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them?” the Pope said.

The Pope added that a homosexual orientation “is not the problem.” He called for charitable treatment of homosexuals, saying that they should not be marginalized.

The Pope’s remarks– made during a long and candid exchange with reporters who accompanied him on his return flight to Rome after a visit to Brazil for World Youth Day—were widely interpreted by reporters as an acceptance of homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood. But in fact the Pope’s comments were addressed to different questions.

The Pope had been answering questions from reporters on two sensitive topics: the reported existence of a “gay lobby” at the Vatican, and reports that the newly appointed prelate of the Vatican bank, Msgr. Battista Ricca, had been involved in past homosexual scandals.

The Pope said that although there have been many reports about a “gay lobby,” there is no clearly identifiable group. He joked that he had “never seen it on a Vatican ID card.” In that context, the Pope said that it is important to distinguish between a homosexual orientation and active participation in a “lobby” within the Vatican. “The problem isn’t the orientation,” he said. “The problem is having a lobby.”

Regarding Msgr. Ricca, the Pope disclosed that he had conducted an investigation into charges of misconduct, and “there was nothing.” He went on to say that it is “dangerous” to probe into the past sins of others. People can sin, repent, and accept God’s forgiveness, the Pope said. “The Lord both forgives and forgets. We don’t have the right not to forget.”

Thus the Pope did not address the issue of whether homosexuals should be ordained to the priesthood. He did not contradict the existing Vatican policy, set forth in a 2005 instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, stipulating that men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained.

Nor did the Pope dismiss concerns about a “gay lobby” at the Vatican. On the contrary Pope Francis acknowledged– as he has in the past– that the existence of a lobby is a problem to be addressed.

From catholicculture.org

Pope Francis: ‘The Best Instrument to Evangelize Young People is Other Young People’

On Sunday evening Pope Francis ended his apostolic journey to Brazil and the World Youth Day. Nostalgia gives way to hope for a better future with the seed sown on good soil: the life of young people. Read more.

The Concho Padre

Pope sends message to Catholics in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales

Vatican City, July 17, 2013 (Zenit.org)

Pope Francis sent a message today to the Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales on the occasion of the Day for Life. The event will be celebrated in Scotland, England and Wales on July 28th and in Ireland on October 6th.

The Pope’s message which was sent by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, was published today in a press release sent by the Catholic Bishops Conference of England in Wales (CBCEW.

Referencing the teachings of Saint Irenaeus which states that “glory of God is seen in a living human being,” Cardinal Bertone stated that Pope Francis encourages all Catholics in the region to “let the light of that glory shine so brightly that everyone may come to recognize the inestimable value of all human life.”

“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect,” the message stated.

Cardinal Bertone also assured the Holy Father’s prayers for the Day for Life, expressing his that they “will help to ensure that human life always receives the protection that is its due, so that ‘everything that breathes may praise the Lord.”

Life is Worth It

According to the CBCEW, over half-a-million leaflets on the Day for Life have been distributed to parishes in preparation for the event. The theme, “Care for Life – Its Worth It” was taken from a homily by then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 2005 to mark the feast of Saint Raymond Nonnatus, “the protector of Pregnant Women.”

“All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth…to give life is to open (our) heart, and to care for life is to (give oneself) in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others,” the future Pope said in 2005.

“Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing… So, go forth and don’t be discouraged. Care for life. It’s worth it.”

The Catholic Bishops Conference stated that “this year’s Day for Life focuses on care for unborn children and their mothers; care for people who are elderly and care for those who are suicidal and their families.”

Feast of St. Bonaventure

Grant, we pray,
almighty God, that,
just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday
of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure,
we may benefit from his great learning
and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Encyclical offers insights into Pope Francis’ style

A Vatican archbishop believes that the first encyclical issued by Pope Francis provides an “introduction” to the Pontiff’s teaching and pastoral style.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, described “The Light of Faith” as “Pope Francis’ own contribution that he wants to offer to the new evangelization.”

He said that the encyclical – which is titled “Lumen Fidei” in Latin – is “distinctive” to Pope Francis, although much of its initial draft was written by the former Pope, Benedict XVI.

“Lumen Fidei, while recovering some insights and some content of the teaching of Benedict XVI, is totally a text of Pope Francis,” the archbishop said at the Holy See’s press office during the encyclical’s release on July 5.

“Here we find his style, and the peculiarity of the content to which we have become accustomed in the first months of his pontificate, especially with his daily homilies,” he added.

Archbishop Fisichella stressed that “the usage of expressions, the wealth of images to which he makes reference and the peculiarity of some quotations from ancient and modern authors make this text a true introduction to his teaching and allow a better understanding of the pastoral style that makes him unique.”

As an example, he pointed to the Pope’s usage of three verbs in the encyclical – walking, building, confessing – which he used in his first homily to the Cardinals the day after his election as pontiff.

“In some ways, it can be said that the encyclical is structured on these three verbs and specifies the content,” said the president of the Vatican’s New Evangelization department.

“Benedict XVI was asked repeatedly to write an encyclical on faith that would somehow conclude the triad that he had started on love with ‘Deus Caritas Est’ and on hope with ‘Spe Salvi,’” he stated.

Eventually, “insistence prevailed and Pope Benedict decided that he would write it to offer it at the end of the Year of Faith,” he said. However, “(h)istory wanted something else.”

The archbishop believes that the new document offers insight into the Year of Faith currently being celebrated by the Church.

The release of the encyclical on faith, divided into four chapters, an introduction and a conclusion, coincides with the Church’s Year of Faith and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council.

Archbishop Fisichella described Pope Francis’ encyclical as “a program on how to continue to live the experience that the whole Church has lived during a whole year with so many highly significant experiences.”

From EWTN News