Tag Archives: vatican

Angelus Message: Immaculate Conception fruit of God’s love.

(Vatican Radio) The Immaculate Conception of Mary is “inscribed in God’s plan; it is the fruit of God’s love which saves the world.” These were Pope Francis’ comments during his weekly Angelus address for the second Sunday of Advent which coincides with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

On this Feast, the Holy Father said, our gaze turns to the “beauty of the Mother of Jesus, our Mother!” It is with great joy, he continued, that the Church contemplates the words of Saint Luke “full of grace” (Lk 1:28). Mary, moreover, guides us as we journey towards Christmas, teaching us “how to live this time of Advent waiting for the Lord.” Pope Francis went on to say that the Immaculate Conception was inscribed in God’s plan; it was the fruit of God’s love whereby the world was saved.

After leading the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square in praying the Angelus, the Pope expressed spiritual closeness to the Church in North America, which is celebrating the 350th anniversary of its first parish: Notre-Dame de Québec.

The Holy Father concluded his Angelus address by wishing everyone a happy feast of Our Lady, and a good lunch.

from Vatican Radio

Pope: allow the Lord to encounter us in preparation for Christmas

(Vatican Radio) Preparing for Christmas through prayer, charity and exhaltation. With this hope, Pope Francis called on the faithful Monday to open their hearts and allow themselves to encounter the Lord who renews all. Read more.

Pope meets with Netanyahu

Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, who subsequently went on to meet with Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the Under-Secretary for Relations with States, Msgr. Antoine Camilleri. During the colloquial discussions, attention was focused on the complex political and social situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, expressing hope that a just and lasting solution respecting the rights of both Parties may be reached as soon as possible. Aside from indicating the Holy Father’s plans for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, various questions were considered regarding the relations between the State Authorities and the local Catholic communities, as well as between the State of Israel and the Holy See, in the hope that the Agreement which has been in preparation for some time may be concluded forthwith.

Vatican Press Office

Pope Francis issues Apostolic Exhortation

Pope Francis has issued his first Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel.” Read the Vatican Radio Report.

Pope Francis meets Putin

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis had a private meeting in the Vatican on Monday afternoon with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It’s the fourth time the Russian leader has been here to the Vatican – he met twice with Pope John Paul II in 2000 and 2003 and had an audience with Pope Benedict in 2007.

In September this year, Pope Francis also wrote directly to President Putin, as the city of St Petersburg prepared to host the G20 summit of world economic leaders. In that letter, the Pope spoke of the need for a more just global financial framework, stressing that “the world economy will only develop if it allows a dignified way of life for all human beings, from the eldest to the unborn child, not just for citizens of the G20 member states but for every inhabitant of the earth, even those in extreme social situations or in the remotest places… “Pope Francis also focused in that letter on the need for an urgent solution to the Syrian conflict, saying: “It is regrettable that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding..”

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis: We are made new in Christ

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. In his remarks following the readings, the Holy Father focused on the universal call to holiness. Read more.

Church ban on Communion for divorced and remarried upheld by Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

In a lengthy statement published in L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has strongly affirmed the Church’s teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried may not receive Communion.

Following the announcement that an extraordinary meeting of the Synod of Bishops will be held in 2014 to discuss pastoral care for families, there has been widespread speculation that the Synod might make a change in the Church’s rule withholding Communion from Catholics who are divorced and remarried. But in a statement made public on October 22, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller observed that the Church’s teaching is not subject to change.

L’Osservatore Romano published the “extensive contribution” by Archbishop Müller in its entirety, giving unusual prominence to the statement. The Vatican newspaper explained that public question on “this pressing subject” called for explanation of the Church’s stand.

Archbishop Müller, too, acknowledged the keen interest in the topic. He said at the start of his statement that the “increasing number of persons affected in countries of ancient Christian tradition” had made the pastoral care for Catholics who are divorced and remarried a matter of urgent pastoral priority.

The CDF leader observed that both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have called for new efforts to provide spiritual support for Catholics who are divorced and remarried. However, he said, “the care of remarried divorcees must not be reduced to the question of receiving the Eucharist.”

Archbishop Müller insisted that the care for divorced/remarried Catholics “must be explored in a manner that is consistent with Catholic doctrine on marriage.” He noted that the Church has clearly and consistently taught that the bond of Christian marriage is indissoluble. “It designates a reality that comes from God and is therefore no longer at man’s disposal,” the CDF prefect wrote.

Examining the issue in light of Scripture and Tradition, the archbishop explains that unless a marriage has been found to be null by an ecclesiastical tribunal, divorced and remarried Catholics are obliged to refrain from receiving Communion. The single exception allowed by pastoral practice, he said, comes when a 2nd marital union cannot be ended (perhaps for the sake of children), and the partners make a commitment to live as brother and sister.

Archbishop Müller explicitly rejected the suggestion that divorced/remarried Catholics should make their own decision on whether they should receive Communion. That argument, he noted, “based on a problematical concept of ‘conscience,’ was rejected by a document of the CDF in 1994.” Similarly he rejected the policies of Orthodox churches allowing for divorce in some cases. “This practice cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage,” he wrote. Throughout his statement Archbishop Müller strongly emphasized the Christian understanding of marriage as a sacrament. “If marriage is secularized or regarded as a purely natural reality, its sacrament character is obscured,” he remarked.

The archbishop did offer one argument that might be pursued by the 2014 Synod, suggesting that many Christians are not entering into valid sacramental marriages. He explained:

Today’s mentality is largely opposed to the Christian understanding of marriage, with regard to its indissolubility and its openness to children. Because many Christians are influenced by this, marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching, and there is too little socialization within an environment of faith. Therefore assessment of the validity of marriage is important and can help to solve problems.

Catholic World News

God meddles with our minds and heals our wounds.

Read about Pope Francis’ Mass for Tuesday, October 22.

Greed destroys people, families

(Vatican Radio) Greed, attachment to money, destroys people, destroys families and relationships with others: That was Pope Francis’ message this morning during Mass in Santa Marta. The invitation is not to choose poverty per se, but to use the wealth that God gives us to help those in need.

Read more.

New US Ambassador to Holy See presents his credentials to the Pope

Kenneth F. Hackett, the new U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, formally presented his credentials to Pope Francis today at the Vatican Apostolic Palace. Ambassador Hackett, who served as president of Catholic Relief Services for 18 years, was nominated to the post by President Barack Obama in June.

In a statement released by the US Embassy to the Holy See, the new ambassador emphasized the commitment of the United States in engaging religious leaders in order “to address critical global issues.”

“The Vatican and the Holy Father have the ability to influence world events in a positive way through the calling of faith and they will continue to be important partners in future collaboration,” Ambassador Hackett stated.

“In my time at CRS, I had the personal joy of being involved in efforts to alleviate some of the conditions Pope Francis talks about – poverty, refugees, migration – and I believe there is much we can continue to do together to work further towards promoting human dignity.”

The U.S. Embassy also announced the launch of Ambassador Hackett’s blog, where he will share his thoughts during his time in Rome. The U.S. Ambassador wrote his first post today regarding today’s audience with the Holy Father.

“I had the honor of presenting my credentials today to His Holiness Pope Francis inside the apostolic palace, and I am excited and honored to begin this new journey,” Ambassador Hackett wrote.

Commenting on the shared importance on several issues, including human trafficking, food access and interreligious dialogue, the Ambassador expressed his hope “to deepening, and expanding” the collaboration between the United States and the Holy See.

from zenith.org