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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 »

Religious liberty includes being able to live faith’s values, Pope says

Pope Francis giving homily

REAL religious liberty includes the freedom to live according to the values taught by one’s faith, Pope Francis said. “Religious freedom is not just a matter of thought or private devotion,” the Pope said on June 20. “It is the freedom to live – both privately and publicly – according to the ethical principles that are a consequence of the ... Read More »

Pope condemns mafia, says members are excommunicated

Pope Francis greets people

IN the stronghold of an Italian crime syndicate believed to be richer and more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia, Pope Francis said, “Those who follow the path of evil, like the mafiosi do, are not in communion with God; they are excommunicated!” During a Mass on June 21 in the southern region of Calabria, Pope Francis made clear that even ... Read More »

Pope on Corpus Christi: Jesus in the Eucharist gives life, love

Pope Francis elevates Eucharist

JESUS is the living bread that can satisfy a person’s deepest yearnings, Pope Francis said on the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. “Besides physical hunger, people have another hunger, one that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food,” the Pope said on June 19. “It is the hunger for life, hunger for love (and) hunger for eternity.” Although ... Read More »

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