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Pope speaks openly of ways his pontificate may end

Pope Celestine

By Cindy Wooden SYMPATHISING with all the unknowns facing young people today, Pope Francis – half joking – said it is easier for a pope because he knows where his earthly life will end. “I think the pope’s definitive path is more certain. Where will the pope end up? There, in that tomb”, in St Peter’s Basilica where most popes ... Read More »

Pope urges complete ban on producing, using land mines

Landmine victim

LANDMINES wound innocent civilians, “prolong war and nurture fear” long after conflicts have ended, Pope Francis told delegates working on the full implementation of an international treaty banning the production and use of anti-personnel mines. “Reduce the stockpile of weapons! Ban weapons that have no reason for existing in human society and instead invest in education, healthcare, saving our planet ... Read More »

Cardinals discuss structure of Vatican Bank ‘in depth’

Pope Francis and cardinals

THE Vatican has said the council of eight cardinals tasked with reforming the Roman Curia met on the morning of July 1 at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, as planned. It said Pope Francis is participating in all the meetings; on the morning of July 2, he participated in the entire meeting, as the general audiences have been suspended. Secretary of ... Read More »

Pope phones rabbi, offers condolences over murder Israeli teens’ murder

Israeli funeral

POPE Francis telephoned Rome’s chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found on June 30 in Hebron, West Bank. Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni said the Pope phoned him at home late in the afternoon on July 1 and said: “Good evening. This is Pope Francis. I wanted to personally ... Read More »

Social ills are result of political, not just moral failures, Pope says

Pope Francis

MANY of today’s social ills are driven by a lack of adequate social policies and government support, not just selfishness and moral degradation, Pope Francis said. And, he added, standing up for the poor and disenfranchised was not a sign of being a communist, but was the mark of a true Christian. “The communists stole our cause. Rallying for the ... Read More »

Pope calls bishops to imitate St Peter’s trust in God

Pope Francis

POPE Francis, preaching on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, said the witness of St Peter reminds us “that our true refuge is trust in God”. Thousands of faithful gathered in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday to celebrate the feast. Pope Francis presided at the Mass, which saw the traditional presence of the delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of ... Read More »

Pope: People drawn to caring shepherd, not moralists, the power-hungry

Pope Francis waves

PEOPLE were drawn to Jesus because he was a good shepherd – not a moralist, not power-hungry, not a revolutionary and not a hermit, Pope Francis said. Jesus “wasn’t embarrassed about talking to sinners, he went to find them” and he felt joy going out, getting close to the people, listening to their problems and offering them healing, the Pope ... Read More »

Pope says it’s important for Christians to stick together

Pope Francis and children

CHRISTIANS are not made in a laboratory, but in a community called the Church, Pope Francis said. At his weekly general audience on June 25, Pope Francis continued his series of audience talks about the Church, telling an estimated 33,000 people that there is no such thing as “do-it-yourself” Christians or “free agents” when it comes to faith. Every Christian, ... Read More »

Pope points to St John the Baptist as model for evangelising

Pope Francis greets crowd

IN sharing the Gospel with others, Christians must be like St John the Baptist, preparing the way for the Lord, pointing him out to others, then stepping aside, Pope Francis said. Celebrating the feast of the birth of St John the Baptist on June 24, Pope Francis called him “the greatest among the prophets”, because he knew how to prepare ... Read More »

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