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Browsing News Entries

Pope Francis Clarifies Comments on Homosexuality to Jesuit LGBT+ Activist Father James Martin

Just two days after the interview with AP, the Holy Father answered a letter in which activist James Martin poses three questions about homosexuality.

The post Pope Francis Clarifies Comments on Homosexuality to Jesuit LGBT+ Activist Father James Martin appeared first on ZENIT - English.

German Bishops’ Leader Answers Pope: It’s Questionable to Lead the Church Through Interviews

President of German Bishops Criticizes the Pope’s Statements on the German Synodal Path.

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Pope on the Liturgy: Calls for Formation in Seminaries, Silence before Mass and Laments Disastrous Homilies

Address to the participants in the course “Living Liturgical Action Fully”.

The post Pope on the Liturgy: Calls for Formation in Seminaries, Silence before Mass and Laments Disastrous Homilies appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Pope’s Inspired Reflections on Marriage at the Start of 2023

Address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota on the occasion of the Opening of the Judicial Year.

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Pope’s Harsh and Scathing Words: “The German Experience Doesn’t Help. It’s Not a Synod or a Serious Synodal Path

“The danger is that something very, very ideological is filtered. And when ideology gets into ecclesial processes, the Holy Spirit goes home because ideology [suffocates] the Holy Spirit,” said the Pontiff.

The post Pope’s Harsh and Scathing Words: “The German Experience Doesn’t Help. It’s Not a Synod or a Serious Synodal Path appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Preaching peace amid violence: Pope heads back to Africa

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' fifth trip to the African continent will highlight gestures of peace and reconciliation, consoling the victims of violence but also emphasizing the importance of each person sowing peace in the family, the neighborhood and the nation.

The pope is scheduled to travel to Kinshasa, Congo, Jan. 31-Feb. 3 before making an ecumenical pilgrimage to Juba, South Sudan, Feb. 3-5 with Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and the Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

"It is enough, or it should be enough, that the pope is going to support the peace process; but the fact that he and his colleagues have committed to doing this as a joint visit should be understood to be a spectacular commitment to the peace process itself," said Chris Trott, the British ambassador to the Holy See and former British envoy to Sudan and South Sudan.

Although the civil wars in both Congo and South Sudan officially have ended, the people continue to suffer from horrific acts of violence, which force the large-scale displacement of communities and keep much of the population in poverty.

Both countries are rich in natural resources, which makes the poverty even more glaring, but also gives the powerful or the disgruntled something else to fight over.

Pope Francis frequently decries the notion that "Africa is to be exploited." As he told the Comboni Missionaries' magazine in an interview published Jan. 14, the world's powerful nations gave Africa "independence halfway: they give them economic independence from the ground up, but they keep the subsoil to exploit," extracting oil or minerals and paying only a pittance.

Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, the nuncio to Congo, told reporters in Kinshasa Jan. 10 that Pope Francis' plan to visit the country is an acknowledgement of Congo as the African nation with the most Catholics -- close to 50 million faithful -- and "the country of the first black bishop of the African continent," Nzingo Mpemba, also known as Bishop Henrique de Portugal, the son of the ruler of Kongo who was ordained a bishop in the early 1500s.

The theme of the pope's visit, "All reconciled in Jesus Christ," he said, is a call to the Congolese to set aside grudges and unite to end the great suffering of their compatriots who live under the constant threat of violence, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

Pope Francis will stay in Kinshasa, the capital, but his original itinerary for Congo included a day trip east to North Kivu province for Mass and a meeting with the survivors of the conflicts there.

But the violence in North Kivu has flared up again, canceling that part of the papal trip.

In early December Catholics and other Christians took to the streets in a protest supported by the Congolese bishops. In a message read at the rally, the bishops accused Rwanda, and to some extent Uganda, of perpetrating the violence in the East through the M23 rebel militia.

The Congolese government also has blamed Rwanda and Uganda for sponsoring the rebel movement and using the rebels as cover to steal minerals that are abundant in eastern Congo.

But M23 is one of only dozens of armed groups operating in the area. The Allied Democratic Forces, a group affiliated with Islamic State, claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Pentecostal church in Kasindi Jan. 15, which killed at least 14 people.

In November Bishop Placide Lubamba Ndjibu of Kasongo issued a public appeal to the government to restore order in the East.

People need lasting solutions to the disputes over gold mining in eastern Congo, which, he said, are "sowing a climate of terror and desolation, accompanied by deaths, rapes, school closures, the destruction of food reserves and looting of livestock."

Looting livestock is a major problem in South Sudan as well and is related to the problem of forcing young women into early marriage, a problem Irish Loreto Sister Orla Treacy has been fighting for decades.

In 2005, six years before South Sudan achieved its independence from Sudan after 50 years of war, Sister Treacy and two other Irish sisters arrived in Rumbek to open a school for girls. The students were accepted only if their parents signed a promise to allow the girls to complete high school and not marry them off in exchange for cattle, which is the most stable currency in the land and the chief sign of wealth.

Sister Treacy told Catholic News Service Jan. 15 that so far, "we have had a good year in Rumbek, the best, I can say" in terms of peace and of keeping students in school. "We have a new, strong governor who has worked with the different communities to try and help to build peace. He has also passed a bill against early and forced marriage. We still get troubles but at least now we can quote the governor and tell families to go to him if they don't like our answer!"

The Irish sister and some 50 students and members of justice and peace committees in the Diocese of Rumbek were in training in mid-January. They are planning a nine-day, 200-mile walk to Juba to join Pope Francis, Archbishop Welby and the Rev. Greenshields for an ecumenical prayer service for peace.

The visit, she said, can "help to shine a spotlight on South Sudan. We hope that it will generate world interest and also help push our leaders to keep working for peace and development."

Ambassador Trott, who was involved in negotiating the 2018 peace agreement among the major actors in South Sudan's civil war, said the ongoing conflicts have an ethnic element because they are regional, but "at its heart is about access and control of resources," including oil, minerals, water and rich farmland. "This fight has always been about who benefits from those resources and who controls them."

"This is where the churches come in," he said, because a peace process can address power and resource sharing, but the success of an agreement depends on a willingness to implement it and to reconcile with former enemies for the good of the nation.

"Diplomats can only talk to their heads or about their pockets," the ambassador said. "But I think the three ecumenical leaders can really appeal to people's sense of responsibility" and what they want their legacy to be.

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Follow Wooden on Twitter: @Cindy_Wooden

 

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Expresses Support for “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion”

WASHINGTON - Earlier today, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’  (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities sent a letter to House and Senate sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R.7 and S.62), in support of the legislation.

“Protecting taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion in violation of their conscience is a principle that has enjoyed historically broad support among Americans, regardless of their otherwise passionately divided views on the topic. It has also been life-saving,” said Bishop Burbidge in his letter. Rather than funding abortion, he continued, “Congress can better serve the common good by prioritizing policies that comprehensively assist women, children, and families in need in ways that will not only encourage childbirth but make it easier to welcome and raise a new child.”

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which has also been supported by the USCCB in previous sessions of Congress, would make long-standing prohibitions on federal funding of elective abortion permanent and government-wide, rather than having to depend on various appropriations, which can put these funding protections or other programs for those in need at risk. 

The full letter is available here.

Additional information and resources on taxpayer funding of abortion are available at the following:  https://www.notaxpayerabortion.com/learn and https://www.respectlife.org/no-taxpayer-abortion.

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USA: student may wear previously banned masks with “Jesus Loves Me” sign

Mississippi school district discards illegal policy, allows 3rd-grader to wear ‘Jesus Loves Me’ face mask. ADF lawsuit prompts enactment of new policy that means students can’t be singled out, censored.

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New Iraq convent is a milestone in Christians’ return

The Dominican Sisters returned in 2017 and began ministering to the families which had come back to Batnaya. Initially they lived in a house in nearby Telskuf provided to the order by a resident.

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Jesus Teacher of Proclamation: Pope Highlights Five Elements of Proclamation

The Holy Father’s General Audience on Wednesday, January 25, on “Jesus: Unsurpassable Model of Proclamation.”

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