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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 »

Pope asks prayers, dignified welcome for refugees

Myanmar refugee camp

ADDRESSING Mary as “mother of refugees”, Pope Francis offered prayers for the millions of people in the world forced to flee their homelands, and he asked Catholics to reach out to them with assistance and a real welcome. “Remember, Jesus was a refugee; he and Mary and Joseph had to go to Egypt to save his life,” the Pope said ... Read More »

Pope lightens his summer schedule, as he did in 2013

Pope Francis greets crowd

POPE Francis’ schedule for summer 2014 is almost an exact duplicate of the schedule he kept in 2013, except he will be making an August trip to South Korea for Asian Youth Day. Last year, he travelled to Brazil in July for World Youth Day. Publishing information about the Pope’s summer plans on June 14, the Vatican said that as ... Read More »

Church rediscovers its role as mother by welcoming, loving, Pope says

Pope Francis with people

“I LIKE to dream of a Church that lives the compassion of Jesus,” Pope Francis told more than 7000 priests, religious, catechists and parish council members from the Diocese of Rome. If every parish embodied the virtues of compassion, tenderness, patience and welcoming, the Catholic Church would be the mother she claimed to be and would continue to generate numerous ... Read More »

Pope to visit Albania

POPE Francis has announced he will visit Albania in September, and has implored faithful worldwide to pray for those suffering in Iraq. Following the midday Angelus prayer on June 15, the Pontiff announced that on September 21, he will visit the Albanian city of Tirana. “With this brief trip I wish to confirm in the faith the Church in Albania, ... Read More »

Pope, Anglican archbishop urge joint action to share God’s love

Anglican meeting

ALTHOUGH they have not yet reached full unity, Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their dialogue, come together in prayer and work side by side, including on a new project to combat human trafficking around the world. “I thank God that, as disciples sent to heal a wounded world, we stand together with perseverance and determination in opposing this grave evil,” ... Read More »

Focus on prayer, the poor, peace, Pope says

Pope Francis with people

IN a historic square in the centre of Rome, Pope Francis urged Catholics to gather strength in prayer and then set out for the margins of society, bringing the Gospel and material aid to the poor, the elderly, the young and the excluded. “Prayer saves the anonymous city dweller from a temptation that we, too, face: activism that believes everything ... Read More »

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