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Pope says annulment process should be cheaper and more efficient

Pope Francis

POPE Francis said the Church’s marriage annulment process should be more efficient and perhaps even free of charge, and he decried any attempts to exploit it for profit. “Some procedures are so long and so burdensome, they don’t favour (justice), and people give up,” the Pope said. “Mother church should do justice and say: ‘Yes, it’s true, your marriage is ... Read More »

Praise God, proclaim salvation, pray for the persecuted, Pope says

Pope Francis

PRAYER and mission are the very breath of the Christian life, Pope Francis said. “When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same spirit,” Pope Francis told members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships. The Pope met on October ... Read More »

Pope urges activists to struggle against ‘structural causes’ of poverty

Pope Francis

POPE Francis urged an international gathering of grassroots social activists to struggle against the “structural causes” of poverty and inequality, with a “revolutionary” program drawn from the Gospels. “The poor no longer wait, they seek to be protagonists, they organise, study, work, demand and, above all, practise that special solidarity that exists among those who suffer, among the poor,” the ... Read More »

Pope urges prayer, international action to fight Ebola virus

Ebola

POPE Francis pleaded for the international community to take stronger, co-ordinated steps to “annihilate” the Ebola virus and help the millions of people impacted by the disease. “As the Ebola virus epidemic worsens, I want to express my deep concern for this relentless illness that is spreading particularly on the African continent and especially among populations that are already disadvantaged,” ... Read More »

Pope: Drop the melodrama, pray for strength, for those truly in pain

Pope Francis prays

AVOID the melodrama and self-pity over minor problems in life, Pope Francis said. Instead, use life’s inevitable difficulties to pray for strength and pray for those who are suffering real tragedy, he said in a morning homily on September 30. “Our life is too easy, our complaints are melodramatic complaints” compared to the many people suffering from debilitating disease, hunger ... Read More »

Pope launches alarm, tells Vatican security force to be ‘gossip police’

Pope Francis waves

THE biggest threat facing the Vatican isn’t a bomb or bullet from the outside, but the insidious work of mischief-makers within, who plant discord and resentment, Pope Francis told the Vatican’s security force. “There are bombs in here, very dangerous bombs in here,” he told security personnel. “Please, keep your eyes open, because in the darkness of so many wicked ... Read More »

Spiritual triage: Help wounded, drop theoretical baggage, Pope says

Pope Francis

WITH so much spiritual, social and moral suffering in the world, the Church has “no right” to stay locked up in an ivory tower, engaging in “byzantine” philosophical reflection, Pope Francis told members of the Focolare movement. “We have to go out! So that – I’ve said this before – the Church seems like a field hospital”, where the first ... Read More »

Pope reminds elderly that old age is time of grace

Pope Francis

POPE Francis has reminded the elderly that old age was a particular time of grace and cautioned that a society that did not properly care for its seniors was one with “no future”. The Pope made the comments at a special celebration of the elderly in St Peter’s Square on September 28, with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI attending as a ... Read More »

Pope compares vain Christians to soap bubbles, peacocks

Pope Francis in dark

AS fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said. Everyone was vulnerable to vanity, even Christians, the Pope said in a morning homily on September 25. However, boastfulness “is a very serious spiritual disease” for Christians because it ... Read More »

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