Pope Francis prays in front of a candle in memory of victims of sexual abuse as he visits St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin Aug. 25, 2018. Pope Francis has revised and clarified norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope issues new norms on mandatory abuse reporting, bishop accountability

Posted by - May 19, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has revised and clarified norms and procedures for holding bishops and religious superiors accountable in protecting minors as well as in protecting members of religious orders and seminarians from abuse. The new juridical instrument is meant to help bishops and religious leaders around the world clearly understand their duties

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Candidates for the priesthood lie prostrate during an ordination Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 12, 2019. The pope ordained 19 new priests. (CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani, pool)

Be merciful ministers of Christ, pope tells new priests

Posted by - May 19, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The priesthood is not a “cultural association or a union,” but a ministry of mercy anchored on Christ’s mission to bring hope to the downtrodden and comfort to those who suffer, Pope Francis told new priests. “The Lord wished to save us freely. It was he who told us, ‘Give freely

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Pope Francis gestures as he addresses more than 1,000 diocesan leaders, both clergy and laity, May 9, 2019, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome. Seated next to the pope is Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, vicar of Rome. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

Pope: Without Holy Spirit, dioceses can become worldly businesses

Posted by - May 19, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A diocese that cares more about being an organized workplace rather than announcing the good news can fall prey to clericalism and distance itself from Christ, Pope Francis said. In creating a “functionalist diocese,” the pope said, local churches are in danger of transmitting a “new ideological colonization that seeks to

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The Basilica of St. Francis with its bell tower is pictured through corn in Assisi, Italy, Sept. 6, 2011. Pope Francis has invited young economists and entrepreneurs to take part in an initiative to be launched in Assisi March 26-28, 2020. The initiative seeks to find new ways to do business, promote human dignity and protect the environment. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope invites young people to pledge to build a new economy

Posted by - May 19, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has invited young economists and entrepreneurs around the world to help create a “new and courageous culture” that finds new ways to do business, promote human dignity and protect the environment. “We need to correct models of growth incapable of guaranteeing respect for the environment, openness to life, concern

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A sign at the "One Happy Family" center for refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos points to a small shack where people can repair bicycles or other items. Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, visited the center and men working in the shack May 9, 2019. (CNS photo/Cindy Wooden)

Cardinal ‘Fix It’: Almoner’s job is to model direct charity

Posted by - May 19, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — During his visit to a center offering respite and food to refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski followed a sign that said, “Broken? Fix it here.” The sign led to a shack where several refugees were working together to fix a bicycle, and one was trying to

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Pope Francis greets Scouts during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 1, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis Tells Young People They Can’t Dream Too Much

Posted by - May 12, 2019

‘One of the big problems people have today, including so many young people, is that they have lost their ability to dream.’ Pope Francis had a clear message for young people on May 7, 2019: “One can never dream too much.” His remarks came in a talk during an ecumenical meeting with young people at

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Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 1, 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Satan, not God, tricks people with temptation, pope says

Posted by - May 12, 2019

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God never tricks, traps or tempts his children to sin or commit evil, Pope Francis said. God is with his people every step of the way — during times of joy and sadness, triumph and tribulation — and he always helps lead people away from the devil and his temptations, the

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SOFIA, Bulgaria (CNS) -- God is love, but too many Christians live their faith in a way that undermines any attempt to communicate that essential fact to others, Pope Francis said. Celebrating a late afternoon Mass May 5 in Sofia's Battenberg Square, the pope wore over his chasuble a gold-embroidered, Byzantine-style stole given to him that morning by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The pope's homily focused on the day's Gospel reading about the disciples' miraculous catch of fish after the risen Jesus told them to try again even though they had caught nothing all night. After the resurrection, the pope noted, "Peter goes back to his former life" as a fisherman and the other disciples go with him. "The weight of suffering, disappointment and of betrayal had become like a stone blocking the hearts of the disciples," he said. "They were still burdened with pain and guilt, and the good news of the Resurrection had not taken root in their hearts." When things don't go the way people plan and hope, the pope said, it is natural for them to wish things could go back to the way they were and to just give up on hoping for something new and powerful. "This is the 'tomb psychology' that tinges everything with dejection and leads us to indulge in a soothing sense of self-pity," Pope Francis said. But the resurrection of Jesus makes clear that a "tomb psychology" is not compatible with a Christian outlook. However, the pope said, even when Peter seems about to give up, Jesus comes to him, calls him again and reconfirms his mission. "The Lord does not wait for perfect situations or frames of mind; he creates them," Pope Francis told the estimated 7,000 people gathered for the Mass. Jesus "does not expect to encounter people without problems, disappointments, sins or limitations," but he encourages and loves and calls people to start over again. "God calls and God surprises because God loves," he said. "Love is his language." Christians draw strength from knowing God loves them and that love must motivate them to love others as they try to share the Christian message, the pope said. With papal trips always described as visits to confirm Catholics in the faith, Pope Francis used his homily to encourage Bulgaria's 68,000 Catholics -- just 1 percent of the population -- to acknowledge the wonders God has done for them and to set out again on mission, "knowing that, whether we succeed or fail, he will always be there to keep telling us to cast our nets." Thirty years after the fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet bloc, the pope called Bulgarian Catholics to a "revolution of charity and service, capable of resisting the pathologies of consumerism and superficial individualism," and instead sharing the love of Christ.

Christians’ first mission is to witness that God is love, pope says

Posted by - May 12, 2019

SOFIA, Bulgaria (CNS) — God is love, but too many Christians live their faith in a way that undermines any attempt to communicate that essential fact to others, Pope Francis said. Celebrating a late afternoon Mass May 5 in Sofia’s Battenberg Square, the pope wore over his chasuble a gold-embroidered, Byzantine-style stole given to him

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Pope Francis listens to a question from a journalist aboard his flight from Skopje, North Macedonia, to Rome May 7, 2019. Also pictured is Alessandro Gisotti, interim Vatican spokesman. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope says study on women deacons was inconclusive

Posted by - May 12, 2019

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM NORTH MACEDONIA (CNS) — The commission Pope Francis appointed to study the history and identity of women deacons did not reach a unanimous conclusion about whether deaconesses in the early church were “ordained” or formally “blessed,” the pope said. “What is fundamental is that there was no certainty that there

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