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Hearing confession is source of grace, conversion for a priest, Pope says

Pope Francis hears confession

HEARING a Catholic’s confession should be awe-inspiring for a priest, an experience that makes him look at his own life and willingness to convert, Pope Francis told a group of seminarians, new priests and priests who hear confessions in the major basilicas of Rome. “Let yourselves be educated by the sacrament of Reconciliation,” he told them yesterday (March 12). Hearing ... Read More »

Mass in vernacular has helped people understand God and live the faith, Pope says

Pope Francis

ALLOWING priests to celebrate Mass in the language of the local congregation rather than in Latin allowed the faithful to understand and be encouraged by the Word of God, Pope Francis said. “You cannot turn back; we have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake,” he told parishioners after commemorating the 50th anniversary ... Read More »

Ignoring, abandoning the elderly is a sin, Pope says

Pope Francis greets elderly woman

SEEING the elderly only as a burden “is ugly. It’s a sin,” Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience. “We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality, helping the elderly know they are a living part of their communities” and sources of wisdom for the younger generations, the 78-year-old pope said on Wednesday (March 4) at ... Read More »

Good works are proper response to God’s ‘exaggerated’ pardon, Pope says

Pope Francis

WHEN the Bible says, “though your sins be like scarlet” God will make them “white as snow”, it exaggerates, just like God exaggerates in his willingness to forgive people, Pope Francis said. “The Lord forgives generously,” the Pope said on Tuesday (March 3) during his early-morning Mass. God never says, “‘I will forgive you just this much, then we’ll see ... Read More »

Pope plans to canonise St Therese’s parents during family synod

St Therese's parents

POPE Francis is expected to canonise Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Therese of Lisieux, during the world Synod of Bishops on the family in October. Prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes Cardinal Angelo Amato, leading a conference on February 27 on the role of saints in the life of the Church, announced that “thanks be ... Read More »

Vatican security always on high alert, chief says after IS threats

Domenico Giani

THE head of Vatican security said Islamic State militants have threatened the Vatican, but there are no indications of any planned attack. The Vatican gendarmes, Swiss Guards and the Italian state police that patrolled the perimeter of Vatican City State were always on high alert, the commander of the gendarme and the pope’s chief bodyguard Domenico Giani said. “There are ... Read More »

Assyrian Christians released, but many concerned for those still held

Iraqi Christians

CHRISTIANS in the Middle East welcomed the release of nearly 20 Assyrian Christians abducted by Islamic State militants in north-eastern Syria, but expressed concern that more than 200 others remained in captivity. “I can confirm the release of 19 persons (17 men and two women) who were captured by the Islamic State in the Khabur region,” Fr Emanuel Youkhana, who ... Read More »

Carmelite guides Pope on Lenten journey, with help from Elijah

Pope Francis on retreat

THE Lenten journey of conversion requires Christians to rediscover the “deepest truth” about themselves, cast off their masks and take on the courage to live truth, a prominent Carmelite priest has told the Pope and Vatican officials. In the first days of Lenten spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia, the Church’s central administration, Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin drew from the ... Read More »

Ukrainian Catholic leader invites Pope, says visit could bring peace

Ukraine archbishop

THE head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church invited Pope Francis to visit the war-torn nation, saying it would help bring peace. “It would be a prophetic gesture that would show the power of prayer and Christian solidarity, give us courage and hope, and build a better future for everyone,” major archbishop of Kiev-Halych Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said. On behalf of ... Read More »

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