Pope Francis

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Give Us the Grace to Learn

Pope Francis meeting with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan, at the Vatican, March 2, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan, at the Vatican, March 2, 2015.

Yesterday Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video).

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta (more details, summary video). It was on the topic of not blaming and judging others, but having a “dialogue with the Lord,” asking God to “give us the grace to learn.”

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, including:

Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and entourage (more details, summary video)
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and entourage (official website)
• Rev Mons. Janusz Urban’czyk, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to several international governmental organizations in Vienna
bishops of the Episcopal Conference of North Africa, who are at the Vatican for an ad Limina visit (summary video, full text in French – I actually recall from one report that Pope Francis is actually quite good at speaking French).

Also, he made an appointment.

In Pope Francis related news:

Out today is also an excellent video interviewing Father Bruno Secondin who led the Lenten retreat which Pope Francis and the Roman Curis went on last week.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Jesus Intercedes

Pope Francis speaking to the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, Feb. 28, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking to the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives, Feb. 28, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received two audiences, one with Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, Italy, and the other with approximately 7,000 members of the Confederation of Italian Cooperatives (official website, summary article from their website, full text, full video, summary video).

Pope Francis also published a letter appointing a Special Envoy to the celebration and honouring of the life of Saint John Ogilvie to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, March 9-10, 2015 (full text in Latin).

Also today, Pope Francis made some other appointments, too.

And he sent a tweet:

Jesus intercedes for us each day. Let us pray: Lord, have mercy on me; intercede for me! (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Checking Their Snail-Mailboxes

Today Pope Francis, along with the Roman Curia, have returned from their week-long Lenten retreat, and at the conclusion, they did some final morning meditations, Pope Francis gave some brief closing remarks, and they departed for the Vatican (more details, summary video). For himself and the Curia, Pope Francis expressed the desire for “that we may leave here with a little piece of Elijah's mantle, in our hands and in our hearts.” I love Pope Francis!

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment, making Bishop Charles Jude Scicluna, the new metropolitan archbishop of Malta. A press conference followed the announcement of the appointment.

It is interesting that Pope Francis has had the Lenten retreats be away from the Vatican (unlike retreats of years past) to thus help eliminate the temptation to engage in their normal duties around the Vatican. As such, today, upon their return this morning, I imagine that Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are probably all checking in with their assistants, secretaries, etc., checking their snail-mailboxes, and taking care of all the things that have piled up over the past few days while they’ve been away.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Backwards People

There is a super-duper, really really good article out with further information regarding what Pope Francis and the Roman Curia are studying while on their Lenten retreat right now — the idols of Elijah’s era are like unto ‘modern-day religiosity’ as they hold only superficial “statistical” meaning only, and are not true measures of faith. Also, although Pope Francis is away on a spiritual retreat, apparently he is still keeping abreast of major happenings around the globe, especially in Syria (more details). Relatedly, in the news there are a couple of good and interesting news stories about Christians and Muslims in the Middle East: The charity of Syrian Christians, and commentary on how the Islamic State is not a mainstream Muslim denomination.

In yesterday’s news:

It was announced yesterday that Pope Francis made some appointments.

As well, over the weekend, Pope Francis sent an email correspondence/letter to an Argentine politician encouraging them to hinder the drug trade in their country, specifically, he spoke of avoiding the “Mexicanization” of the country. On monday, by many reports, some people might’ve interpreted this as an insult – including the Mexican government, and so yesterday the Vatican did some public smoothing things over regarding the statements (summary video).

In other Pope Francis news:

The first disabled individual Pope Francis kissed during his first public appearance at Saint Peter’s Square on March 19, 2013 has passed away.

And this is a really really nice news story, a faithful homeless man named Willy passed away in mid-December and with Pope Francis’ blessing, the man’s body has now been laid to rest in a Vatican cemetery behind St. Peter’s Basilica (more details, summary video). No one knew how old he was; he was faithful to God, but the world gave him not a home. These are God’s children, too. Even in the retreat meditations, “God [is] for [the] "backwards people."”

Also in the news, a non-believer from Portugal saw a television documentary about Pope Francis’ first year as the Roman pontiff, desiring to express her own doubts and searchings, she wrote to Pope Francis and he wrote back and invited her, even with her doubts, to be baptized! After much contemplation, she is going to be baptized at St. Peter’s Basilica this Easter! I love Pope Francis!

In Pope Francis related news:

So what’s it been like around the Vatican with Pope Francis and the Roman Curia away on retreat? Here’s a really good article about one ambassador’s experience while they’ve been away.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Paths to Freedom

Pope Francis continues this week to be on Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia. Today’s theme of study for them was “Paths to freedom” – and by other details of the article, is sounds like that on the retreat, they are also doing the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola (wikipedia link, more details) – which are some of Pope Francis’ favorites (which seems logical since Pope Francis is a Jesuit, and Ignatius of Loyola founded his order). Also of these annual papal retreats, there is actually a super good article out today on their history!

In Pope Francis related news:

There is a really really good video interviewing homeless people who are now using the showers and haircutting services Pope Francis has sponsored at the Vatican and around Rome.

Pope Francis’ twitter account exceeded 19 million followers.

There are several articles on the Swiss Guard who defend Pope Francis. There is an excellent interview with the new head of the Swiss Guard, Cristoph Graf. And it was announced that Buon Appetito, Swiss Guard, a cookbook by one of the Swiss Guard, which includes some recipes inspired by some of Pope Francis’ favorite dishes, is scheduled for release in English this coming summer.

In news about Pope Francis (there’s actually quite a bit):

Also in the book department, just out is a book by Cardinal Walter Kasper on the theologies of Pope Francis, titled Pope Francis’ Revolution of Tenderness and Love.

As well, there is a really really good interview of Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, President of the Conference of the Episcopate of Latin rite Ukraine, on the meeting Pope Francis had with him and other Ukrainian bishops.

There is a good article interviewing Argentine painter Mercedes Fariña from Buenos Aires who has painted pictures of Pope Francis, corresponded with him through the mail, and met him.

And there’s a good article on an upcoming television documentary titled, Francisco de Buenos Aires (Francis of Buenos Aires) which interviews a whole bunch of different people who knew Pope Francis before he became the Roman pontiff.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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According to the Word of the LORD

Althought Pope Francis is away at a Lenten retreat this week with the Roman Curia, some things he is doing are getting out into media circles. According to one source, every morning of the retreat they’ll be opening each day with Morning Prayer, some meditations, and a Mass. Also the named theme of study for the retreat in general is “Servants and prophets of the living God” with a focus on the life of Elijah. As well, “Paths of authenticity” was the particular theme of study for them today.

As well, there have been some other things showing up in the news:

Today, even as Pope Francis was away, it was announced that he made a number of appointments.

Also in the news today, Pope Francis has sent a letter to an Argentine lawmaker asking them to be sure to subdue international drug trade in the nation.

In Pope Francis related news:

There’s a really really good video out today talking about what we might look forward to with Pope Francis’ upcoming Encyclical on ecology.

And there’s an excellent article on applying a new international business framework based on the teachings of Pope Francis, which are part of God’s plan for the Earth.

And since this week Pope Francis is studying Elijah on his retreat, here’s a few verses from one of the stories of Elijah in the Holy Bible:

   And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
   And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
   For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
   And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
   And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah.
– 1 Kings 17:12-16

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis Departs for Ariccia

Pope Francis arriving on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Casa Divin Maestro in Ariccia, Italy for a week long Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia.
Pope Francis arriving on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Casa Divin Maestro in Ariccia, Italy for a week long Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia.
People waiting to see Pope Francis arrive at the Casa Divin Maestro in Ariccia, Italy on Feb. 22, 2015 for a week long Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia.
People waiting to see Pope Francis arrive at the Casa Divin Maestro in Ariccia, Italy on Feb. 22, 2015 for a week long Lenten retreat with the Roman Curia.

Today at noon, Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video).

Beginning late this afternoon, Pope Francis along with other members of the Roman Curia embarked on a week-long spiritual retreat for Lent, taking place in the nearby town of Ariccia, at the Casa Divin Maestro. Upon his arrival, they had Eucharistic Adoration and Evening Prayer. He’ll return to the Vatican on Friday (retreat press release, summary video).

I couldn’t find any English articles on this, the following is the best I could piece together: This evening, they began their studies and reflections on Elijah, particularly focusing on “the authenticity of faith” and to come to say no to “ambiguity,” “anguish,” and even “pilgrimage” — it seems that part of the lesson of Elijah is not to live a life of mystery/unknowns — but a life without separation from God. Also at the retreat, they’ll be using a meditation method called “Lectio divina” (wikipedia entry).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Weekend Audiences

Today Pope Francis had several audiences, meeting with:

pilgrims from the Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio or Cassano to the Ionian Sea (other details, full text)
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (press release, summary video)
• Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for bishops
Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and at the meeting designated St. Gregory of Narek as a Doctor of the Universal Church (summary video, more about St. Gregory)

Also today, he made an appointment.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

There is no sin that God cannot pardon. All we need to do is ask for forgiveness. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Practicing Charity

This morning, Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta on generally on topics of fairness and charity (summary video).

Today Pope Francis had a bunch of audiences. He met with several groups of Bishops from Ukraine and gave each group written copies of his address to all of them. (full text, summary video). Also, while at the Vatican, they had Mass together and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri addressed them (full text).

Today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

The Sacraments are the manifestation of the Father’s tenderness and love towards each of us. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis Speaks with Parish Priests

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass on the meaning of success in life (summary video).

Today Pope Francis had several audiences, and he made an appointment.

Also today, as part of Lent, Pope Francis had a big meeting with the parish priests of Rome (other details, summary video). He conversed with them about many things, including the meaning and value of various rites celebrated by way of the Mass, the discernment process for ordaining new priests, delivering good sermons and a good Mass, and the logistics and potentials of priests being married. There is also a really good interview with a parish priest who attended.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Wherever there are men and women who have consecrated their lives to God, there you find joy. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Out today is a report by the Roman Catholic organization Caritas (official website) regarding the “global economic recovery”. Also there is an excellent video out today regarding it, too. According to the article and video, Caritas Europe (official website) has a plan called “One Human Family: Zero Poverty.” Of the situation, a representative of Caritas in the video said:

The crisis is based on the structure of the system itself, so we have to go back and look at the social model we’re dealing with.

This statement is part of God’s plan for earth, and a new model and economic system are having to be developed and applied in which not everyone is required to “work”. As stated in the video, many well educated people have had great difficulty finding work now. This is due especially to God having industrialization increasingly eliminating more and more and more jobs which used to be needed for everyone to be well sustained. As part of God’s plan, the Roman church has this organization to help transition the world into a new model system in which throughout the world, there is “zero poverty” in the midst of not everyone being required to “work”. It’s not socialism or communism, it’s God’s plan for “paradise earth.”

And relatedly, God has Caritas helping the third world into “zero poverty,” too, and helps them to apply the new social model and new system, too.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Ash Wednesday – The Heart is the Seat of Our Feelings

Pope Francis celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, Feb. 18, 2015.
Pope Francis celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, Feb. 18, 2015.

Today Pope Francis gave a General Audience address at St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video). Also at the General Audience, an America LGBT Roman Catholic group, New Ways Ministry, was apparently (by some reports, but not by all) specifically welcomed by the Vatican at the event, thus reflecting a softening due to “the Francis effect.”

In addition to this General Audience, today Pope Francis received Ricardo Lewandowski, president of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil.

Also, for Ash Wednesday, which is today, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome (full text, full video, summary video). Themes of his homily were: “Return to the Lord with all your heart.” “The heart is the seat of our feelings, the Center in which ripen our choices, our attitudes.” And he seemed to say that our tears reveal where our heart is, and that sensing this, one can use it to guide one’s approach to the mercy of God.

Today Pope Francis sent message on the occasion of the 52nd Campaign for Fraternity in Brazil (full text).

As well, he sent a tweet:

Lord, grant us the grace to know we are sinners. (link)

Also in the news, it was reported that the Archdiocese of Colombo gave Pope Francis a check for $8.7 million to help the poor but Pope Francis returned a check and told them to use it to help the poor of their country, Sri Lanka.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Wrath

Today Pope Francis gave a homily at morning Mass on the topic of doing good (summary video). In particular also, he mourned the loss of the twenty-one Coptic Christians martyred for their faith. Also of his homily:

Pope Francis was reflecting on the passage from Genesis that speaks of God’s wrath at man’s wickedness that is a prelude to the great flood.

It is interesting that he brings up God’s wrath toward wickedness; are all of these horrors around the world actually due to aspects of God’s wrath? Pope Francis though went on to perhaps blame such things more on the hearts of so many just not being centered right with God. That can seem right, too, to me. He also talked of Jesus chiding his disciples not to argue with each other, because it is a better path to not have envy, jealousy, and to not speak ill of others. Whatever the case, God has a plan, and Pope Francis is a major part of it.

Of audiences, today Pope Francis received a delegation from the Italian Coast Guard, and heard their stories of helping to save refugees and migrants (summary video).

Of messages, today, Pope Francis sent out a message for World Youth Day (full text), which this year shall be on held March 29, 2015 on Palm Sunday at the diocesan level, and next year in Krakow, Poland. It’s a super good message about how “blessed” in the Beatitudes equates to “happy,” and he also exhorts:

We need to protect the purity of what is most precious of all: our heart and our relationships. This “human ecology” will help us to breathe the pure air that comes from beauty, from true love, and from holiness.

[Have the courage] to rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone, deprived of its essential characteristics of beauty, communion, fidelity and responsibility.

Through Pope Francis, God asks people to “rebel” for the deeper, bigger, and broader love.

Wow, all in one day, Pope Francis talked about God’s wrath, preludes to destruction, and rebelling for the biggest of love. I love Pope Francis!

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment (more details).

Also today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

During Lent, let us find concrete ways to overcome our indifference. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Day of Many Audiences

This morning, Pope Francis received in audience a bunch of people, including:

• Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
• Pynchas Brener (wikipedia link) chief rabbi emeritus of the Israelite Union of Caracas, Venezuela, and his entourage
The king and queen of Tonga (summary video)
• Right Reverend John P. Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland (official website) along with a delegation from the Church of Scotland (full text of Pope Francis’ address, full text of John Chalmers address, summary video)
Members of the Pro Petri Sede Association or “For Peter’s Chair” Association (official website, wikipedia link) from the countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (full text)

Of the audiences, I very much enjoyed John Chalmer’s address to Pope Francis. Here are a few good quotes:

...We know... that we are living in a time when there is more to be gained from drawing on each other’s understanding of the continual need for the Church to be in a process of reform, than drawing lines on the map of history that we dare not cross.

Our dialogue must deepen and we must find ways of working toward ever deeper fellowship and communion.

...We are facing challenges on the world stage around which all people of goodwill must unite.

...We share a pastoral concern for each one of your flock. It would be a wonderful boost to their morale and the morale of all people of faith in Scotland if, soon, you were able to make a pastoral visit to a country that would surely welcome you with open arms.

We continue to pray that God will bless and use you as God is so obviously using you today.

Wow. So good!!!!!

Also today, in the afternoon at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis attended and administered rites at Cardinal Karl Josef Becker’s funeral.

Of messages, today the Center for Child Protection opened near the Pontifical Gregorian University and Pope Francis sent a message in honor of its opening and the message was read at the centre’s opening press conference today (summary video). Also, Pope Francis telephoned the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church expressing grief at the loss of twenty one Coptic Christians at the hands of Islamic State militants.

Pope Francis made an appointment today.

And he sent a tweet:

Jesus came to bring joy to everyone in every age. (link).

Yes indeed. The message Jesus applies to all people, in all eras!

In Pope Francis related news:

And today, the barber shop for the homeless, which Pope Francis commissioned, had its opening day today and had a big turn out! (more details)

And in commentary news, I read this really really good article over at the National Catholic Reporter about “hope.” After reading, it left me refreshed in my considerations of “hope.”

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Twenty New Cardinals

At St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis meets with the College of Cardinals and creates twenty new cardinals on Feb. 14, 2015.
At St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis meets with the College of Cardinals and creates twenty new cardinals on Feb. 14, 2015.

Yesterday Pope Francis inducted twenty new cardinals at an Ordinary Public Consistory held in St. Peter’s Basilica (full video, summary video, other details). As part of the ceremony, along with Pope Francis giving an address (full text), so did Cardinal Dominique Mamberti (full text). Following the consistory, the new cardinals had meet-and-greets with reporters and the general public (summary video 1, summary video 2).

And of the cardinals, here is the list of their assigned titular church assignments (my best understanding at this moment is that the cardinals each have a physical church they are assigned to in Rome, and which they even go to preach at occasionally, this is their “titular church”).

Today, Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video).

And today, Pope Francis held Mass with the College of Cardinals, including with the new cardinals (full text, full video). There are so many super good lines from the homily, but here are just a few:

These two ways of thinking are present throughout the Church’s history: casting off and reinstating. Saint Paul, following the Lord’s command to bring the Gospel message to the ends of the earth (cf. Mt 28:19), caused scandal and met powerful resistance and great hostility, especially from those who demanded unconditional obedience to the Mosaic law, even on the part of converted pagans.

Compassion leads Jesus to concrete action: he reinstates the marginalized!

[This means] rolling up our sleeves and not standing by and watching passively the suffering of the world. The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity.

“I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Mt 12:7).

For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to God’s family! And this is scandalous to some people!

[Do] not be tempted to turn to Jesus without turning to the outcast, to become a closed caste with nothing authentically ecclesial about it. I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is emarginated, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith, or say that they are atheists; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper – whether in body or soul - who encounters discrimination! We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized!

...The Gospel of the marginalized is where our credibility is at stake, is discovered and is revealed!

I love Pope Francis!

In other Pope Francis news:

Amidst all the hoopla of people being made cardinals, where is Pope Francis amidst it all? Where are the tweets, the audiences, and the appointments in the news? Well, I imagine that since the cardinals are all back in town, he’s more likely than not spending many an hour hanging out over dinner, wine, and cocktails, catching up with all of them. So that’s probably why there hasn’t been much Pope Francis news besides these big events — the cardinals are back in town!

As well, cardinals, it seems, are Pope Francis’ top advisors and helpers, and in many respects, they’re his eyes and ears around the globe, so when they’re back in town there are probably many a behind-the-scenes meeting happening, getting status updates, project update reports, etc. Pope Francis has a global church to run, and a universal church to bridge ecumenically “in communion” (whatever that happens to mean) throughout all of Christendom, plus there are the even bigger global plans God has in the works (global political communion, comfortably sustaining all people without exception, etc. – and we see these in the Vatican-lead U.S.-Cuba relations improving, in Pope Francis’ example of extending sustainingness unto “the least of these,” etc.) and which the church is key in orchestrating. That’s a big job, and so these moments when all the cardinals come home, I imagine that there’s probably a lot of update and planning meetings happening.

So if you’re wondering why there isn’t much news happening besides the big meetings, that’s, I imagine, probably why.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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More Curial Reform Meetings

Today Pope Francis continued his meetings with the College of Cardinals regarding Curial reforms (summary video). Mid-day, Fr. Lombardi gave a press conference on the morning meetings.

Also in the news, Pope Francis invited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to attend tomorrow’s Ordinary Public Consistory at St. Peter’s Basilica, and he accepted.

As well in the news, Pope Francis sent a letter to some high school students who wrote him letters and sent him a video late last year. The students are volunteers helping Latin American immigrants.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!

In Pope Francis related news:

Someone snapped a funny picture of Pope Francis at the meetings yesterday, and there’s an article over at the Catholic News Service Blog, documenting a bunch of the twitter responses.

Also there is an interesting article on “The Francis Effect” on Europe, and what God’s “alternative visions for society and for life” are.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Curial Reform Meetings Continue

Yesterday Pope Francis gave a General Audience address at St. Peter’s Square on the topic of the goodness of childbearing (full text, full video, summary video). Also as part of the General Audience address, Pope Francis mourned this week’s deaths of immigrants on the Mediterranean Sea (summary video).

Also at the end of the General Audience today, Pope Francis met with a delegation of Palestinian Christians, which included the mayor of Bethlehem, Vera Baboun, two other mayors from cities near Bethlehem, and Issa Kassissieh, Ambassador of Palestine to the Holy See. They were later received by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. One of the primary goals of this delegation meeting with the Holy See is to bring attention to the harmful affects on Christians if Israel builds a wall through the areas in and around Bethlehem. Here’s an article, and a wikipedia article on the planned division wall and how it may be detrimental to Christian families and communities in the region. The “Israeli separation walls” greatly displease God, and God says should be taken down throughout all of the country and along its borders.

Also, of audiences, today Pope Francis received Shahindokht Molaverdi, the deputy president of Iran (more details, other details, summay video).

Curial reform meetings continued yesterday and today. Yesterday, Pope Francis finished up meetings this week with the Council of Cardinals (a group of nine cardinals) regarding Roman Curial reforms (more details, summary video) and today he began two days of meetings with the College of Cardinals (a larger group of 165 cardinals, including cardinals to be ordained this weekend) to discuss the reforms further (summary video). The larger group meeting is an “Extraordinary Consistory of the College of Cardinals” – “extraordinary” meaning that it’s a meeting being called specifically outside the normal routine of meetings they have. The meeting opened with an address by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals (full text), and then Pope Francis gave an address also (full text).

Of how the College of Cardinal meetings went today, here’s an interview with Cardinal Julian Herranz regarding them.

Also yesterday and today, Pope Francis made several appointments, including a new Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organizations.

Also, it was announced that Pope Francis has decided not to have an Easter Mass with a group of Italy’s politicians, as he did last year.

In Pope Francis related news:

The new cardinals which Pope Francis is making are going to need their cardinal outfits to wear, and here’s a pretty interesting video out regarding one of the tailors who makes their clothes.

There’s several good interviews in the news with people Pope Francis is making cardinals on Saturday, one with Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli, with Archbishop John Atcherley Dew, and another with Charles Maung Bo.

There’s an interview with Father Juan Carlos Scannone (an associate of Pope Francis for many years) talking about some of Pope Francis’ theological perspectives.

Of the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI there are a bunch of articles in the news. There’s an excellent article on Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of resignation – two years ago yesterday, a really good article about how Benedict is doing today and his own reflections regarding his resignation, and an article on Benedict’s influence on the Roman church in general.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Press-Conferencing Forward

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of setting out on the journey to knowing God through having an activeness and restlessness in one’s search – to ultimately understand the identity, image, and face of God (summary video).

Today, Pope Francis continued his three days of meetings with the Council of Cardinals regarding Roman Curial reform, and a press conference was held this afternoon discussing the progress of the meetings thus far (summary video).

Also in a press conference today, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, issued a press statement explaining that Pope Francis follows the international news quite closely and seeks that nations resolve their differences through diplomacy and not through wars (summary video).

Pope Francis today had sent a telegram expressing condolences at the passing of Cardinal Karl Joseph Becker, S.J. (full text in Italian).

And Pope Francis made an appointment.

In other Pope Francis news:

A good article talking about Pope Francis’ expectations for his journey to the U.S. later this year!
A good article explaining some of the Roman Curial reforms
A podcast entry discussing connections between Pope Francis & St. Francis

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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It’s All Getting Sorted Out

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta (summary video, additional article). The homily was essentially on together caring for the planet and the people here.

Also this morning, Pope Francis resumed meeting with the Council of Cardinals regarding reforming the Roman Curia (summary video).

As well today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

In Pope Francis related news, today, members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors issued an official statement to the press regarding their meetings this weekend, and they are taking other measures. Building up to that press release were some related articles:

An excellent article discussing some of Pope Francis’ perspectives on corporal punishment as he’d spoken of in last Wednesday’s General Audience address
A really good article on commission members speaking out over the weekend regarding some of Pope Francis’ statements at last Wednesday’s General Audience

It’s all getting sorted out. :)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Mass at the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel

Today Pope Francis gave a Sunday Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video). Reading the entire address, it was such a good address! It was about people coming unto the poor and sick, to be there with them and bring them out of distress and poverty, and into wellest and strong bodily constitution, and domicles of lasting wellestness:

The salvific work of Christ does not end with his person during his earthly life; it continues through the Church, sacrament of love and of the tenderness of God for mankind. Sending his disciples in mission, Jesus confers upon them a dual mandate: announce the Gospel of salvation and heal the sick (Mt.10,7-8). Faithful to this teaching, the Church has always considered the care of the sick as an integral part of its mission.
 
“The poor and the suffering you will always have with you”, Jesus warns (cfr Mt. 26,11), and the Church continuously finds them on the street, considering the sick as a privileged path to encounter Christ, to welcome and serve Him. To care for a sick person, to welcome him and serve him is to serve Christ. The sick are the flesh of Christ!

So good! I love Pope Francis!!!!!! God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God. Also, the end of the address touched upon the plan to erase human trafficking from the globe.

Pope Francis also today visited the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata (parish wikipedia page), in an eastern district of Rome to speak with lots of people, hear confessions, have Mass, and deliver a homily (full text, full video of Mass, summary video). I actually got quite caught up in reading stories and checking out the imagery online about this visit, and it was so so good! Anyway, here are some more details of the visit, picked from the Italian news (link 1, link 2):

Pilgrims flocking to the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy to see and hear Pope Francis, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pilgrims flocking to the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy to see and hear Pope Francis, on Feb. 8, 2015.

As Pope Francis arrived near the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, he did one of his unexpected stops (which he as become known for doing) and stopped at a nomatic/homeless camp about 300 meters from the church and visited the people there before proceeding to the church. Also among the people at the camp, was a group of Latin Americans, and Pope Francis recited an “Our father” in Spanish with them and gave them a blessing (summary video).

Pope Francis visiting a nomad-homeless village in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis visiting a nomad-homeless village in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis visiting a nomad-homeless village in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.

As he got to the church, he met with a group of homeless people, some scouts, and some other children (summary video). At the church there was a group of about 80 scouts and speaking to the scouts, he approximately said:

Pope Francis getting in a scouting spirit by wearing a scout neckerchief while visiting scouts in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.Pope Francis getting in a scouting spirit by wearing a scout neckerchief while visiting scouts in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.

Receiving Jesus gives us strength. There are those who say: “but I don’t go to mass because I’m tired.” I say: you’re a fool! Why you lose, because if you go to mass and receive Jesus, you are stronger for struggling in life.

He also met with a group of children who got to ask him questions. In his answering he approximately said:

Children if you want peace, why fight?
 
Where do you want to stay? In peace. So why fight among yourselves? If you have at the heart of jealousy against others, this is the beginning of the war. The jealousies are not of God.
 
“War” is a bad word, because in wars you kill so many people, a bomb drops and they’re all killed.
 
The father of the wars is the devil, who is also also the father of hate and lies; lies, because he doesn’t want unity. But God wants unity – to God we are all brothers [and sisters] – He is the author of unity and of love.
 
The devil pushes you to look for something that is not yours, beginning with envy, jealousy. A country wants to take another country and make wars, killing so many people, people flee and live on the streets. In the world there are so many wars because there is hatred and who sows hate? The devil.
 
When you feel in the heart hatred, jealousy, envy – be careful because it comes from the devil; when you feel the peace, it comes from God. Who works in our hearts causing us to hear good things? The Holy Spirit. I do not hear a dove, but I feel that it makes me feel Jesus.
 
Pray in Mary always, for peace and not to fall into wars. Pray also for me.

I love Pope Francis! God guards and protects Pope Francis at every turn and every side, and He walks with and speaks through Pope Francis to deliver His message and to bring about His plan for the universe. And here’s a few more pictures from Pope Francis’ excursion to Pietralata:

Pope Francis after arriving at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis after arriving at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis in evening procession through the street to Mass at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis in evening procession through the street to Mass at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.
Pope Francis in evening procession through the street to Mass at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata, Rome, Italy, on Feb. 8, 2015.

It seems by some of the pictures, that big screens were set up outside the parish so that the crowds not able to enter could also watch the Mass.

As well today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Jesus is not a figure from the past: he continues now and always to light the way for us. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Equality and Difference

Pope Francis speaking to the Pontifical Pontifical Council for Culture, on Feb. 7, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking to the Pontifical Pontifical Council for Culture, on Feb. 7, 2015.

Today, Pope Francis spoke with members of the Pontifical Council for Culture, holding their plenary assembly on the topic of “Women’s Cultures: Equality and Difference.” In his address, Pope Francis said that for women to be “full participants in the various areas of social and ecclesial life... can no longer be postponed.” He spoke of erasing the commodification of women, but also understanding the important roll of women in families (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis also spoke with the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (full text, summary video). For more about the Council for the Laity, there’s an excellent interview about it with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle who is on the council.

Also today, Pope Francis spoke with representatives of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar or SECAM (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis had one other in audience, too.

Today, Pope Francis also sent a video message to a group of political and business people gathered in Milan, Italy to discuss the topic “Feeding our planet, Energy for Life,” which is the theme for the International Exhibition – Expo 2015, being held in the same city this coming May (full text in Italian, summary video, additional article 1, additional article 2).

As well today, Pope Francis made several appointments, including appointing Lieutenant Colonel Christoph Graf as the new commander of the Papal Swiss Guard.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Having the Strength

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of modern day martyrs of the faith (summary video).

Pope Francis also had several people in audience, including a group of government leaders from various Italian cities (full text). and made some appointments.

Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone. (link)

Also today, the public showers opened for use just off of St. Peter’s Square (summary video).

This weekend is the meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and there are a bunch of really really good articles about the meeting, and what Pope Francis and the church has done and are doing to protect women and children from especially sexual abuse. There is a story of an abuse survivor Peter Saunders, who founded the UK’s National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) and is on the commission. There’s an excellent article interviewing one of the founding members of the commission. And there’s an interview with the president of the commission, Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Really really good things seem to be happening to eliminate sexual abuse from the world.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Our Treasure Multiplies

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of the church being like a field hospital, but “to heal the wounds of the heart” (summary video).

Along with others Pope Francis received in audience today, he also received President Anote Tong of the nation of Kiribati (summary video). He also met with a group of Greek bishops who were at the Vatican on an Ad Limina visit (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis speaking with youth from Scholas, on Feb. 5, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking with youth from Scholas, on Feb. 5, 2015.

As part of Pope Francis’ Scholas Occurrentes project, today, at the conclusion of the Fourth Scholas World Congress, held in the Vatican from February 2-5th, Pope Francis did an international video chat with several groups of disabled children, discussing topics such as how to work through and overcome challenges in life, how some technologies have helped the children to face difficult situations, etc. (full video, summary video). I really liked a particular quote of Pope Francis from the video chat:

Every one of us has a gift inside of us. If we keep it locked, it stays hidden. If we share it with others, our treasure multiplies through the gifts of others. What I want to say is that each and every one of you, has a gift.

Following the video chat there was bit of a “meet and greet” with Pope Francis and then he delivered an address to the gathering (full text in Spanish).

Today Pope Francis sent message to The Presidents of Episcopal Conferences and Superiors of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (full text, summary video). He also sent message to the National Prayer Breakfast held at the U.S. capital (more details).

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment (more details).

As well in the news, Pope Francis by way of Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Papal almoner, has distributed to the homeless of Rome 300 umbrellas, left behind by visitors to Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums (more details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Prayer May be Our Protest in Front of God

Today Pope Francis gave his General Audience address, continuing last week’s theme of fatherhood (full text, full video, summary video).

At the end of the address, Pope Francis called for an end to the conflict in Ukraine (summary video). Of the address, one of my favorite lines is, “And let us pray so that prayer may be our protest in front of God” — prayer and/or the word of God itself can be the most powerful of all protests and all orders for action.

As well, in the news, as a part of the General Audience, Pope Francis met a woman who had been a victim of a form of domestic violence (video clip).

Also today, Pope Francis sent condolences to the victims and families of victims of a plane crash in Taipei, Taiwan.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Contemplating Christ

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of contemplating Christ (summary video).

He met with Cardinal Angelo Amato and approved some decrees, including one regarding the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Pope Francis sent a tweet:

We are all sinners. We are all called to a conversion of heart (link)

And in Pope Francis related news, Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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On Living a Consecrated Life

Today Pope Francis celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica to mark The World Day for Consecrated Life (full text, full video, summary video).

Pope Francis received a number of people in audience, including a group of bishops from Lithuania who came to the Vatican for an Ad Limna visit (full text, summary video). And here is an interview with one of the Lituanian bishops regarding their visit with Pope Francis.

As well today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and another.

Of messages, today he sent a letter to the Archbishop of Palo, John F. Du, and apologized for having to leave there early due to a big storm while in the Phillippines.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Credible Witness to Truth

Pope Francis had a pretty busy Saturday (yesterday), and a much less busy Sunday this weekend:

Yesterday Pope Francis received in audience a bunch of people, including the directors of Italy’s National Confederation of Direct Farmers or “Coldiretti” at the seventieth anniversary of their founding (full text in Italian).

Pope Francis sent a congratulatory telegram to Italy’s newly elected President, Sergio Mattarella (full text).

Yesterday Pope Francis also made some appointments. And it was announced the list of Bishops which Pope Francis has ratified, who are expected to attend the next Synod of Bishops (full list).

And yesterday, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

A credible witness to truth and to the values of the Gospel is urgently needed. (link)

In Pope Francis related news yesterday, there was a farewell Mass for Swiss Guard commander Colonel Daniel Anrig who is stepping down from that position.

Today, Pope Francis gave a Sunday Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video). Also in the address, he announced that he shall be visiting Sarajevo in June of this year.

Also in the news, it was announced that the historic National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S., Pope Francis has bestowed upon it the title of “basilica.”

As well in the news today is an excellent article out on what Archbishop Konrad Krajewski does around the Vatican and Rome to remedy poverty. The article also speaks of Pope Francis’ involvement in Krajewski’s mission.

In Pope Francis related news, Master of Papal Ceremonies Msgr. Guido Marini, has turned fifty, and there’s a super good video all about him and what he does with Pope Francis. At pretty much every big Mass which Pope Francis leads, Msgr. Marini is there assisting.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Another Busy Day Around the Vatican

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of not being lukewarm Christians (summary video).

Pope Francis had several audiences today. Among them included a farewell audience with Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig, Commandant of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, who is retiring from his post, a farewell audience with Francesco Maria Greco, ambassador of Italy to the Holy See, and Pope Francis received and spoke with the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, praying with them for a “negotiated solution” to the conflicts throughout the Middle East (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis also sent message today to victims of a gas truck explosion in Mexico City (full text in Spanish).

And it was announced that Pope Francis has chosen Carmelite Father Bruno Secondin to lead Pope Francis and top members of the Roman Curia on their Lenten retreat, and he’ll be preaching on the theme of “Servants and Prophets of the Living God.”

And in Pope Francis related news:

The U.S. EPA chief Gina McCarthy met at the Vatican with several Holy See officials. And through she didn’t meet with Pope Francis directly, her visit was in part to let Pope Francis know that the U.S. president is "aligned with him" on the issues of climate change.

And, by one report today, public popularity ratings for both the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Francis seem to be continuing to climb higher and higher.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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God’s Salvation for His People

This morning, Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta and on the topic of – that salvation is a group thing, not just a single thing (summary video). He said:

Let’s care for one another. Salvation is not just for me. If that’s the way I understand salvation, I’m wrong and I’m following the wrong path. The privatization of salvation is the wrong path.

Today Pope Francis received many people in audience, including a delegation of politicians with Latin American roots (summary video).

Of messages, Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Chiara Lubich (the founder of the Focolare Movement) was opened and Pope Francis sent message of praise and blessing of her and to their group (summary video).

A bunch of Pope Francis announcements were made today. He made an appointment, it was announced that Pope Francis altered a particular ceremony of the Roman church – the “investiture of the Pallium on Metropolitan Archbishops” – to involve local people more. And in the realms of salvation for God’s people: Along with Pope Francis opening public showers especially for the homeless of the city, it was announced that free haircuts are going to offered as well! Pope Francis leads the way!!!!! And quite strangely, regarding haircuts for the homeless, it reminded me of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs:

Pope Francis is on the same team as J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, giving haircuts, from The Book of the SubGenius, p.33.
Pope Francis is on the same team, giving haircuts (from The Book of the SubGenius, p.33; learn more at subgenius.com).

And today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

True love does not pay attention to the evil it suffers. It rejoices in doing good. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Paternal Figure

Today Pope Francis had his weekly General Audience address, this week on the topic of responsible parenting, particularly responsible fatherhood (full text, full video, summary video). At the end of some General Audiences, particularly ones indoors, on occasion, circus performers’ll show up and put on a little show, and at this week’s there was also one (video).

And Pope Francis made some appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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For the Sake of Humanity

Today Pope Francis gave a morning homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta on the topic on seeking to do God’s will (summary video).

Today was also released Pope Francis’ message for Lent (full text). The message is largely about compassion toward the suffering, and there was a press conference about the message, too (full video).

The Seventieth Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz is today, and Pope Francis sent a tweet regarding it:

Auschwitz cries out with the pain of immense suffering and pleads for a future of respect, peace and encounter among peoples. (link)

Not finding much else today on the primary news sites, filtering through the internet, I found an article about U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock having an audience with Pope Francis. In the audience, Pope Francis told him, “People shouldn’t be discounted under any circumstances.... For the sake of humanity we must all try to preserve human life under all circumstances.”

God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God to bring about God’s plan for this earth.

   The LORD Almighty has sworn this oath: It will all happen as I have planned. It will come about according to my purposes. ....
   I have a plan for the whole earth, for my mighty power reaches throughout the world.
   The LORD Almighty has spoken—who can change his plans? When his hand moves, who can stop him?”
(Isaiah 14:24, 26-27 NLT)

As a week of prayer for Christian unity came to a close on Sunday at a Vespers lead by Pope Francis, relatedly, here are some really really good ecumenical news stories:

The Anglican Church in England has ordained their first female bishop, and local Catholic archbishop of Birmingham sent well wishes for her ministry.

Also, in the news today, the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue began a five day run of meetings between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church to finalize a joint document regarding the first five centuries of Christianity.

Ecumenicalness is on the rise, and the churches are building strong bridges between each other!!!!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Renewing the Faith

Today Pope Francis gave a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, on the topic of faith and not allowing faith to merely become one’s culture (summary video).

Pope Francis had a bunch of audiences today, including receiving in audience a delegation from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (summary video).

Pope Francis made a couple of appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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In Spirit and Truth

Balloons that mean peace being released from St. Peter’s Square at conclusion of Pope Francis’ Angelus Address, Jan. 25, 2015.
Balloons that mean peace being released from St. Peter’s Square at the conclusion of Pope Francis’ Angelus Address, Jan. 25, 2015.

Today Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video). Also as part of the Angelus Address, a girl and a boy stood on either side of Pope Francis at the end of the address and the girl read a message about peace, Pope Francis then said, “Here’s the balloons that mean ‘peace’” and balloons were released at St. Peter’s Square as a gesture of peace. Apparently according to some reports, after some doves that were released last year got attacked by a seagull and a crow, today marked the beginning (at least for some occasions) of releasing balloons for peace instead of doves.

In the evening, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Wall in Rome, Pope Francis lead a vespers to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (full text, full video, summary video, excerpt video).

From the Vespers, there are a bunch of super good quotes from Pope Francis’ address. Here are just a few:

To understand one another, and to grow in charity and truth, we need to pause, to accept and listen to one another. In this way, we already begin to experience unity.
....
Jesus does not side with the mountain or the temple, but goes to the heart of the matter, breaking down every wall of division. He speaks instead of the meaning of true worship: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24).
....
We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities and overcomes conflicts. To reconcile our differences.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Saturday of Audiences

Today Pope Francis received in audience a number of individuals and groups, which included the following: He met with participants in the Ecumenical Conference of religious men and women (full text). And he met and spoke with a three-day international conference on Dignitas connubii – the Roman Catholic document on handling cases of the nullity of marriage (full text). The conference was sponsored by the Faculty of Canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. As well today, Pope Francis met and spoke with members of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (full text, summary video).

Also among the audiences for the day, for a boon to the LGBT people of the world, today Pope Francis also received in private audience a transgender man (someone who’d been assigned as female at birth, but transitioned to be male), and even, according to the article, went through a “sex-reassignment surgery.” In audience also was his fiancée. The man, a faithful Roman Catholic in from the Spanish city of Plasencia, his fellow parishioners had been quite critical of him, and the priest at his parish had even called him “the devil’s daughter” — the man wrote a letter to Pope Francis about his situation, and Pope Francis gave him a telephone call this past Christmas Eve after receiving his letter! Pope Francis also called him in a second instance in December to set up the audience. And then today, he had an audience with Pope Francis! As a part of the first article link, they interviewed Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA (an LGBT Catholics group), who said, “For the pope to meet with a transgender man about to be married, and for that meeting to result in this man feeling more hopeful about his place in the Church, shows a concern for those at the very margins of our church.”

I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!

Today Pope Francis sent message of closeness, solidarity, and blessing to victims of heavy rains and flooding in the African country of Malawi.

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

And he sent a tweet:

Practicing charity is the best way to evangelize. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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This Encounter Between Two

This morning, Pope Francis gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of forgiveness (additional article, summary video).

Today Pope Francis met with the Roman Rota, a judicial body within the Roman Catholic church (full text, summary video, additional summary article).

Today Pope Francis released a document for World Communication Day (full text). The document was on the topic of communication, especially within families. And relatedly, at the Vatican today, there was a press conference discussing the document (summary video).

Pope Francis sent letters to all of the people he’ll be making cardinals in mid-February (full text). He stressed approaching the positions with humility.

And Pope Francis received in audience a bunch of people.

And in the news, there is an excellent video about what Pope Francis is doing to quell injustices done by radical Islamists.

In Pope Francis related news:

Outside the authorization of Pope Francis and the Vatican, China is planning to consecrate some new bishops.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Intercession of Jesus

This morning, Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of the meaning of the intercession of Jesus.

Audiences:

Yesterday, before his General Audience, Pope Francis blessed several lambs whose wool would be used later in the year at the Vatican (summary video). Pope Francis had a General Audience with an address reflecting on his journey of this past week to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and touching on many other topics (full text, full video, summary video, excerpt video).

Also yesterday, Pope Francis met with a group of wine producers, oenologists, sommeliers, journalists and representatives of Italy's gourmet associations.

Today, Pope Francis had several audiences, including a group of Italian security forces (the General Inspectorate for Public Security) who work for the Vatican and Pope Francis gave an address to them (full text, summary video). As well, Pope Francis received and addressed an ecumenical delegation of Catholics and Lutherans from Finland (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis in an audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, also authorized an array of decrees. Relatedly, there are many articles out there in the news regarding the various decrees, and here are a few: Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa and Msgr. Aloysius Schwartz.

Appointments:

Yesterday, Pope Francis made a bunch of appointments (further details), and one today, as well as some shifting of things around at the Vatican bank.

And Pope Francis sent a tweet today, particularly directed toward the March for Life happening in the U.S.:

Every Life is a Gift. #marchforlife (link)

And in Pope Francis related news:

The U.S. president mentioned and quoted Pope Francis in a his State of the Union Address (summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis’ Favorite Foods & Wines

Today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and some others. And that’s about it.

I imagine that after that titanic journey abroad, Pope Francis is probably unpacking his bags today, sending his clothes from this past week of travels – off to be laundered, and putting his feet up just a bit today. And maybe, just maybe, Pope Francis is enjoying a relaxing glass of wine....

And strangely enough, there are several articles in the news today all about Pope Francis and the food and wines he enjoys!

An interview with a Napa, California, winemaker who’s been making wines for and to honor the Roman Catholic popes. They currently make the “Cabernet FRANCis,” Pope Francis has tried it during his meals, loves it, and orders more from them!
An interview with the chef assigned to cook for Pope Francis during this past Sri Lanka/Philippines journey talking about Pope Francis favoring rather simple meals, but that he does have an affection for sweets
• Pope Francis has spoken on numerous occasions about the hedonistic goodness of enjoying good wine
• And tomorrow, wine producers, oenologists, sommeliers, journalists and representatives of Italy's gourmet associations are gathering at the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Philippines – Day 5

Today, Pope Francis celebrated a private Mass at the Manila nunciature, traveled to the airport, had brief conversations there with both Cardinal Tagle and Filipino President Aquino, and boarded his airplane back to Rome. After an approximately fifteen hour flight, Pope Francis arrived back in Rome. Along the flight, he sent telegrams to the heads of state and others of the nations he few over (full texts). Also while on the flight, Pope Francis held a press conference (full text, summary video, summary article 1, summary article 2). After his arrival in Rome, he visited the Basilica of St Mary Major to give thanks there, and then returned to the Vatican.

Some appointments and jurisdictional redistrictings by Pope Francis were announced.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

To my friends in Sri Lanka and the Philippines: May God bless you all! Please pray for me. (link)

Also in the news, it was announced that yesterday’s outdoor Mass in Manila’s Rizal Park well may have been the “largest event in the history of the popes.”

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Philippines – Day 3 & 4

Pope Francis at Mass in a rainstorm, delivering a homily to Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Tacloban, Philippines, Jan. 17, 2015
Pope Francis at Mass in a rainstorm, delivering a homily to Typhoon Yolanda survivors in Tacloban, Philippines, Jan. 17, 2015 (source).

Yesterday Pope Francis visited the Philippine province of Leyte. In the cities of Tacloban and Palo, he met with survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. He had an outdoor Mass in Tacloban at which he gave an impromptu homily in Spanish, consoling the survivors (full text, full video, homily video, summary video). Also, at the end of the Mass, Archbishop John F. Du gave an address of thanks unto Pope Francis for his visit (full text).

Next, Pope Francis traveled to the nearby city of Palo where he blessed The Pope Francis Center for the Poor and visited the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord where he met with priests, religious, seminarians and religious families. Also at the cathedral, Pope Francis gave an address, greetings and goodbyes, expressing his apologies for leaving early, but that the airplane pilots and others were saying that they had to have his plane depart due to the next tropical storm that was about to hit (full text, summary video).

Also yesterday, some appointments of Pope Francis were announced.

Today Pope Francis traveled to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, where he met first with a delegation of religious leaders. He then went to a sports field at the university where he met with a large group of Filipino youth and gave them an address (full text, full video). Also at the gathering, Pope Francis received several questions from some young people, including two former street-children (summary video).

Today Pope Francis also had an outdoor Mass in Rizal Park, Manila where he gave the homily (full text, full video, homily excerpt video, summary video). As well, at the end of the Mass, Cardinal Tagle expressed words of thanksgiving to Pope Francis for his visit (full text).

Pope Francis also met today with the father of a volunteer who died from some falling scaffolding, set up for the outdoor Mass in Tacloban.

And for tweets, yesterday Pope Francis sent the following tweets:

We who are Christians, members of God’s family, are called to go out to the needy and to serve them. (link)

The com-passion of God, his suffering-with-us, gives meaning and worth to our struggles and our sufferings. (link)

And today, one more:

How often we forget to dedicate ourselves to that which truly matters! We forget that we are children of God. (link)

In related news, there’s an excellent article again interviewing Cardinal Tagle on how this particular journey of Pope Francis’ through the Philippines is going.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Philippines – Day 2

Pope Francis meeting with a group of children from the streets of Manila, Jan. 16, 2015
Pope Francis meeting with a group of children from the streets of Manila, Jan. 16, 2015

Today Pope Francis visited the presidential palace in Manilla (summary video) where he visited the president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III (full video), as well as a delegation of other diplomats to whom he gave an address (full text, full video).

Pope Francis then traveled to the Cathedral of Manila where he had Mass (full text, full video, summary video). As well, at the end of the Mass, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle gave an address to Pope Francis (full text).

After celebrating Mass this morning, Pope Francis visited with a group of street children who are provided housing and education services through the ANAK-Tnk foundation. Last year, many of the children there had written him letters asking for a visitation by him. Pope Francis received the letters from the children late last year, and dropped by today to visit them (summary video, video of imagery from the visit).

Today Pope Francis traveled through the streets of Manilla to the Mall of Asia Arena which is an indoor events-stadium (summary video), once at the arena, he listened to people tell their stories about factors of marginalization in their lives, and gave an address to them (full text, impromptu text, full video, summary video). As well in Pope Francis’ address, he spoke particularly about St. Joseph, and that he keeps a statue on his desk of St. Joseph sleeping, and encouraged people to leave a note under the image of St. Joseph whenever they have a problem (summary video). Also at this event, Filipino singer Jamie Rivera performed (performance video).

In additional news, speaking with reporters, Cardinal Luis Tagle spoke of Pope Francis telling him how impressed he was by how energetic the Filipino people are.

As well, today Pope Francis sent two tweets:

The Philippines bear witness to the youthfulness and vitality of the Church. (link)

The family is the greatest treasure of any country. Let us all work to protect and strengthen this, the cornerstone of society. (link)

Also, some appointments of Pope Francis were announced.

And in news which is commentary on this papal journey:

a super interesting report on what the media situation has been in the Philippines while Pope Francis has been there
an analysis of Pope Francis’ comments on marriage
an analysis of Pope Francis’ comments on loving the poor

In older Pope Francis news, I saw a report of someone on the papal flight to the Philippines giving Pope Francis an image of St. Therese, and his response to that (further details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Sri Lanka – Day 2 & 3 and arriving in Philippines

Wow, there’s a lot to report. Here’s the past two days in one pop!

By the seaside in Columbo, yesterday, Pope Francis had a canonization Mass for Joseph Vas, Sri Lanka’s first Saint, and he gave a homily on the topic of religious freedom (full text, full video, full video with commentary, summary video).

Later in the day, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter to visit the Marian shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Madhu (protectress against snakebites), he was greeted by Bishop Joseph Rayappu (full text) and Pope Francis gave an address there (full text, address video, full video, full video with commentary, summary video).

After to journey back from the Marian shrine, Pope Francis’ made a bunch of other visits with people. First he rendevoused with former Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family. After that, accepting an invitation to visit the Mahabodhi Buddhist temple, he dropped by, and visited the temple and monks there. Then also, due to timing constraints the day before he had cancelled a meeting with a group of Sri Lankan bishops, but he made up for it today by meeting up with them also, before finally returning to the Apostolic Nunciature for the night.

Also yesterday, President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy just stepped down from being president, and Pope Francis sent him a telegram expressing his “sentiments of sincere esteem.”

As well yesterday, it was announced that Pope Francis made an appointment.

Moving on to today.....

This morning, Pope Francis packed his bags and departed the Apostolic Nunciature of Colombo to visit the The Chapel of “Our Lady of Lanka”, after which he traveled to the airport and departed for Manila. During the six and a half hour flight to Manila, Pope Francis gave a press conference (full text, summary video)

In the latter half of the day, Pope Francis traveled by airplane to Manila in the Philippines and was greeted by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and others, made his way to an open-air Popemobile and traveled through the streets of Manila greeting crowds lining the streets on his way to the local nunciature (essentially, a nunciature is a Vatican embassy) where he is staying for the night (full video, full video with commentary, summary video).

Also today, some more appointments by Pope Francis were announced, and Pope Francis expressed his approval regarding an election in the Chaldean Church.

As well, Pope Francis sent some tweets in one of the languages of the places he’s been visiting, the translation things online aren’t working much to get them translated, but here are the two tweets he sent – tweet 1 & tweet 2.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Sri Lanka – Day 1

Yesterday Pope Francis met and spoke with the Holy See Diplomatic Corps (full text, full video, summary video, speech excerpt). Relatedly, here’s a list of the diplomatic agreements member states of the Holy See Diplomatic Corps made together during 2014 — pretty good stuff!

Yesterday, Pope Francis made an appointment.

Also yesterday, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Please pray with me for everyone in Sri Lanka and the Philippines as I begin my trip. (link)

Before desparting for Asia, I didn’t see a news story about it, but Pope Francis very likely went out yesterday to the Basilica of Mary Major to honor and pray to Mary before his departure as he usually does pretty much before every journey abroad.

And the day ended with Pope Francis boarding his plane to Sri Lanka at about 7 p.m., and approximately then sending a telegram to the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano (full text) expressing blessing upon Italy while traveling abroad. Also to every nation he flew over, he sent his usual telegram greetings and blessings to the leaders of those nations (full text).

About 10 hours later, at approximately 9 a.m. in Sri Lanka, Pope Francis arrived and was greeted with a ceremony at the airport. At the ceremony, Pope Francis’ addressed those there (full text of Pope Francis’ address, full video, speech excerpt). Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka also spoke, welcoming Pope Francis.

After the welcome ceremony, Pope Francis boarded a popemobile to travel the 17 miles to his destination, greeting people lining the streets all along the way. Things actually took longer than expected and he had to cancel attending one particular gathering. That next distination was the local Apostolic Nunciature, where Pope Francis celebrated a private Mass and had lunch with several prelates. After that, he traveled to the presidential palace where he was received by President Sirisena.

Later, Pope Francis went to an Interreligious and Ecumenical Gathering, and spoke there (full text, full video)

Also in Pope Francis news, Pope Francis had sent message to the participants of a meeting of the Presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the Bishops’ conferences of Europe held in Esztergom, Hungary, and his letter to them was read at the opening of their gathering today (full text).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Feed the Children

A baby being baptized in the Sistine Chapel by Pope Francis on Jan. 11, 2015
A baby being baptized in the Sistine Chapel by Pope Francis.

Today Pope Francis had Mass at the Sistine Chapel and there performed baptisms for thirty three babies, and gave a homily (full text, full video). In his homily he spoke of how mothers should be just fine breastfeeding their young children in public, that parents should share their faith with their children, and that we can address prayers to each aspect of the Trinity, not just to Jesus and God the Father, but also to the Holy Spirit. It was a super good homily.

Also today Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address from the papal window overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video).

As well in the news today, there is a new book being released this week (in Italian) titled “Pope Francis: This Economy Kills” and it includes a new interview with Pope Francis which is also published this weekend in La Stampa (in Italian). Here is an most excellent summary article of the interview, including lengthy translated portions.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Another Day Around the Vatian

Pope Francis received a couple of audiences today, including participants in a conference on Haiti and it’s recovery from an earthquake five years ago and Pope Francis addressed them as well (full text). Also as part of the audience, Pope Francis met three Haitian athletes who lost limbs due to the earthquake. Additionally today, Pope Francis made a number of appointments.

And Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Let us find time to be with him. (link)

In other Pope Francis news:

There’s an article out today telling the story of a girl from New Jersey, pushing through a disease, but granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to meet Pope Francis at a General Audience last month. She met him, and he blessed both her — and her rosary beads. I love Pope Francis!

In Roman Curia reform news, Pope Francis told Cardinal-designate Alberto Suarez Inda last May not to retire, and a few days ago Pope Francis has named him as a new Cardinal.

And in Pope Francis related news:

I just saw this really really good article of one lady’s letter to Pope Francis regarding her lesbian life. It was such a super good read! :)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Freedom of Love

This morning Pope Francis gave a homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of how love is the antidote to fear (additional article, summary video). Another inspiring address, loaded with super great quotes:

A love that’s perfect banishes fear: in love there’s no fear, because fear is expecting a punishment and a person who's afraid doesn’t have a perfect love.
....
You can follow a thousand catechism courses, a thousand spirituality courses, a thousand yoga or zen courses and all these things. But none of this will be able to give you the freedom as a child (of God). Only the Holy Spirit can prompt your heart to say ‘Father.’ Only the Holy Spirit is capable of banishing, of breaking that hardness of heart and making it... soft.

I love Pope Francis!

Today Pope Francis received several people in audience, and Pope Francis made an appointment.

In Curial news, Pope Francis is considering expanding the number of cardinal electors who chose new Roman pontiffs to increase from 120 to 140. And out today, I saw an excellent article analyzing the Roman Curia reforms taking place thus far.

In Pope Francis related news:

Yesterday, the drawings were held for the Pope Francis’ raffle for charity.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Woman, Mother, Priest

Yesterday, Pope Francis had his weekly General Audience address on the topic of motherhood (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). Following his General Audience address, circus performers performed on the stage. After his General Audience address, Pope Francis met a group of Jewish holocaust survivors (summary video), as well with a group of Muslim leaders (summary video).

Today, Pope Francis had morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta and in his homily condemned the terrorist attacks in Paris and prayed both for those affected by the attacks, and for change in the hearts of the perpetrators (summary video).

Pope Francis also sent message to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, in regards to the attacks. As well, Fr. Federico Lombardi issued an additional statement this afternoon from Pope Francis, condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Audiences:

Today, Actress Angelina Jolie and two of her children met with Pope Francis. Pope Francis also met with leaders of the Yezidi community, their main leader Tahsin Said Ali Beg, and their spiritual leader Skeikh Kato (summary video). And some other people had audiences today with Pope Francis.

Today Pope Francis also sent a hashtag tweet!

#PrayersForParis (link)

For those that may not know, especially in Twitter posts and in Facebook posts, a hashtag if placed in an entry, essentially links that entry with all other tags also having that hashtag – so if you do a search of that hashtag, one can view lists and lists of entries which have that hashtag. Here’s the link to the search page showing “#PrayersForParis” entries.

In later breaking Pope Francis news:

Here’s finally a link to the full text of Tuesday’s Angelus Address, translated into English. And last Saturday, Pope Francis telephoned Italy’s Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, congradulating her on a Neapolitan doctor infected by the Ebola virus being cured of the disease.

In non-Pope Francis news:

Just because it’s such a very hot topic in the headlines, I just saw the flurry of news stories on women’s equality in the Roman church over at the National Catholic Reporter. Check out the list of articles:

Cardinal Raymond Burke’s comments about the feminization of the church
Another response to Cardinal Burke’s statements
Jimmy Carter’s latest book on women’s equality
• The Pontifical Council for Culture’s new Life of Women project
An article on the movements within the Roman church to ordain women (also see arcwp.org, romancatholicwomenpriests.org, and womensordination.org)

Wow. Well, the Roman church has a whole lot to sort out for itself. Reminds me a little bit of what the Mormons have going on, too, right now with their big women’s ordination movement.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Visible Sign of the Invisible God

Today Pope Francis celebrated Epiphany by having Mass this morning at St. Peter’s Basilica (full text of homily, full video). It was about letting go of the mortal calculations, and following the example of the Magi, engaging with the infinitude of God with us. Later on, Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address from the Papal window (full text). And here’s a nice summary article covering details of both the Mass and the Angelus Address. I actually enjoyed the Angelus Address today even more than the homily.

The Angelus Address today has some absolutely beautiful imagery in it. I couldn’t find an actual full English translation of today’s Angelus Address, so I ran it through a couple of online translators, and piecing those together the best I could, a few of the more beautiful lines are:

The Gospel story of the Magi describes their journey from the Orient as a journey of the soul, as a path towards the encounter and union with Christ.
....
The experience of the Magi evokes every man’s journey towards Christ. Like the Magi, we seeking for God means walking — and as I said: caring, untiring and courageous — staring at the sky and catching sight of the visible sign of the invisible God that speaks to our hearts.

I love Pope Francis! In the Angelus Address, Pope Francis also spoke of today being the “World Day of Missionary Childhood.” I’d never heard of this before and did a bit of a search on it:

The purpose of the World Day of Missionary Childhood, observed on Jan. 6, feast of the Epiphany, is to awaken in children a missionary consciousness, as well as material and spiritual communion with other children throughout the world, especially those of the poorest regions. (link)

That is so super cool! In the Angelus Address today, Pope Francis exhorted:

I encourage educators to nurture small missionary spirit — children who are not closed but open, who see a big horizon, that their hearts go ahead towards that horizon, arising them up among all the other witnesses of God’s tenderness and proclaimers of the Gospel.

What a poet! Pope Francis rocks!

And Pope Francis sent a tweet today:

Jesus came to save us: let us not reject this marvellous gift! (link)

In Pope Francis related news: The Pope’s raffle to raise money for aiding the homeless and the poor ends in the next day or so and the winners are to be announced on the Vatican’s website. And in the news, there is a good interview with Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin regarding some of how Pope Francis is leading things around not merely the Vatican and the Roman church, but around the world.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Human Being Value

Across the media spectrum, there’s not much in Pope Francis news today. Pope Francis did send out a tweet today though!

Lord, help us to recognize you in the sick, poor and suffering. (link)

A beautiful message. When we see Jesus in the “sick, poor and suffering” and we desire to make Jesus the central figure of our lives — as brothers and sisters in Christ’s family and each in God’s image, we make sure everyone has a good and comfortable place to live and clothes to wear, food to eat, and brought out of the discomfort of bodily illness. And Pope Francis certainly has helped sent an example for humankind by sponsoring the construction and maintenance of public showers for the homeless and others, and by providing sleeping bags for the homeless in Rome.

Even in the city I live in in America, there are really really good food banks for people, free laundry services for people, and I even heard that a free housing service is being implemented now to make sure that everyone has a comfortable domicle to live in, no matter what. I’ve heard of people in one major city in the U.S. actually implementing a similar program for the homeless, because the people found that in the long run, it’s actually cheaper and better for business and city image, if they provide free comfortable domicles for people. Some might call it a form of “socialism,” or even “Christian charity,” but from the perspective of Jesus, it’s just what should be happening everywhere.

Generally, people don’t pay to have an email account and they don’t pay to connect with others on Facebook. If they have an electronic device, they might get a cup of coffee somewhere, but while they’re there, they don’t pay to surf the internet and watch a favorite TV show over Hulu or some other website. That freedom of free availability to all and massive over-abundance is pressing in upon a society with old laws to do with payment. The challenge God gives to humanity now is by His command in the scriptures, to set aside the old payment laws.

Published today too, over at zenit.org, is an article regarding a shift in society away from people’s “financial value” and towards a “social value currency.” In the light of the words of Jesus, even “social value currency” are poor words. In Christ’s family, there is no speculative evaluation of human value: homeless, unemployed, in prison, destitute, deformed, sick, refugee, outcast, filthy, and any other bad thing you can think of cannot and do not related to God’s value of people. If they are people, if they are a human being, that is their currency.

So if you see someone, merely ask yourself, “Are they a human being?” — then, according to God, they literally are your sibling in Christ and in our immensely, overly materially-abundant world, by that currency alone and by no other currency, by no papers, by no ID, by no verifications, by no money, by no proofs, by no properties — they deserve food, a comfortable domicle, clothes, and health in the body. Being a human being — that is their currency with God and with you.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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New Cardinals are Announced

Pope Francis at the beginning of the Angelus Address, Jan. 4, 2015.
Pope Francis at the beginning of the Angelus Address, Jan. 4, 2015.

Today Pope Francis gave a beautiful Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text – excluding the announcements of new cardinals, full video). The address was on the topic of humans eliminating the exploitation of each other across the planet. I love Pope Francis!

As well at the Angelus Address, Pope Francis announced the names of twenty new cardinals (full text). For additional information about it all, here is a good analysis of the announcement by Fr. Lombardi, another article about how cardinals have been typically chosen, and, though it’s older, here’s an excellent video about who cardinals are and what they do!

And yesterday, Pope Francis sent the following tweet:

Christianity spreads through the joy of disciples who know that they are loved and saved. (link)

Yes indeed, the radiance of our knowingness and our exuding joy sparks others’ desire to know, too.

In other Pope Francis news:

The Vatican has released a “Click to Pray” electronic-device app in Portugese, which Pope Francis himself blessed on the day of the app was launched (video link).

In Pope Francis related news:

Pope Francis has had more interviews with journalists than any other pope. A new book has been published “Interviews and Conversations with Journalists” which publishes his first fourteen interviews, plus all of the press conferences Pope Francis has given during his international trips (video link).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Here and There, Messages were Sent

Today Pope Francis sent message to the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Aurelio Pol in remembrance of a giant fire which happened ten years ago in an Argentine nightclub.

Also in the news, Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Brazil to mark the 450th anniversary of the founding of Rio de Janeiro.

And Pope Francis made an appointment.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Happy New Year!

Pope Francis delivering the homily at the first Mass of 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis delivering the homily at the first Mass of 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

This morning at 10 a.m., Pope Francis celebrated Mass to mark the New Year and the International Day of Peace and gave a homily at the Mass (full text of homily, full video). It is interesting to note, too, that when you follow the full video link, there is the option to click on tabs above the video to switch on English-language reporting and commentary of the Mass – a nice new additional feature! After the Mass, the bells of St. Peter’s Square were rung, and Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address and prayed the Angelus Prayer from the Papal window overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video).

And Pope Francis sent a tweet:

How many innocent people and children suffer in the world! Lord, grant us your peace! (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

The seat which Pope Francis sat on, in the bullet train he rode on while traveling around on his South Korea journey this last year has now become a somewhat hallowed object, which people now seem to be paying lots of money to reserve and sit in it!

Here’s an article talking about the train trip then, and below is a quote from the article:

The pope had traveled the 85 miles from Seoul by train instead of helicopter as originally planned. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said authorities thought the train would be safer because of rainy weather. The spokesman said Pope Francis had never ridden a high-speed rail and welcomed the experience.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!! For more complete coverage of that journey in Korea, check out the archives on this site covering Aug. 12-19th, 2014.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!

The Boy’s Choir receiving communion at the first Mass of 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Boy’s Choir receiving communion at the first Mass of 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica.

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