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Children a blessing, not a burden, Pope says

Pope Francis and child

CHILDREN are a blessing, not a burden, and are a sign of the confident hope of a couple and of society, Pope Francis said. “If a family that has been generous in having children is looked upon as a burden, something’s wrong,” he said yesterday (February 11) at his weekly general audience. “The generation of children must be responsible,” as ... Read More »

Pope calls for greater roles for women in the Church

Brazilian women hug

SAYING he knows the history of the subjugation of women continues to have a negative impact on how women are treated, Pope Francis called for greater roles for women in the Church and for greater assistance and workplace flexibility to ensure they can make the best choices for themselves and their families. Pope Francis told the Pontifical Council for Culture ... Read More »

Inequity is root of all evil in economies, policies, hunger, Pope says


TO find real solutions to today’s problems, people need to address the root evils plaguing the world: unjust economies, financial speculation and systems that create inequity, Pope Francis said. The problem of world hunger at a time when there was more than enough food to feed the world, for example, showed how the real problem of malnutrition had not been ... Read More »

Pope makes surprise visit to immigrant settlement

Pope Francis visits immigrants

WHEN Pope Francis walked through the gate surrounding a group of shacks and very humble homes, it took a while for people to notice. In fact, when a couple of people looked out their doors, the Pope’s chief security guard motioned them to come over. “Papa Francisco!” someone shouted in Spanish, and then dozens of people came running on February ... Read More »

New Vatican restrooms offer showers, barber shop for homeless

Homeless in Vatican

HOT showers, a soapy shave and spiffy haircuts are available for free for those whom the Vatican calls “our homeless pilgrims”. Thanks to charitable contributions from Pope Francis and private donors, the Vatican has finished remodelling and expanding a public bathroom a few steps from Bernini’s Colonnade, surrounding St Peter’s Square. The Vatican announced on February 6 that the construction ... Read More »

Pope to make historic address to United States Congress

Pope Francis

POPE Francis will address a joint meeting of the United States Congress on September 24, and become the first pontiff to do so. House Speaker John Boehner announced this yesterday (February 5). Mr Boehner said in a statement he was “truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation”. He said that “in a time of global upheaval, the Holy ... Read More »

Pope: Families need fathers who guide, love them through thick and thin

Father and son

FAMILIES ­need a father who shares in their joy and pain, hands down wisdom to his children and offers them firm guidance and love, Pope Francis said. Being a father was not easy since it took lots of patience and grace, he said. “But what consolation, what a reward one receives when the children honour this legacy. It is a joy that ... Read More »

War between Christians is a scandal; Ukrainians need peace, Pope says

Elderly Ukrainian woman

THE only word worthy of being heard in the throes of war is “peace”, and there is nothing more scandalous than a nation made up of Christians engaged in conflict, Pope Francis said. “When I hear the word ‘victory’ or ‘defeat’, I feel such great pain, great sadness in my heart. These are not the right words, the only word ... Read More »

Pope gives step-by-step primer on contemplative prayer with Gospel

Pope Francis

TURN off the television, tune out the neighbours, and spend 10 or 15 minutes reading a Gospel passage and speaking to Jesus, Pope Francis told people at his early-morning Mass. “Today find 10 minutes – 15 at the most – and read the Gospel, imagine the scene and say something to Jesus. Nothing more. Your knowledge of Jesus will increase ... Read More »

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