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Pope Francis prays for Ischia quake victims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis during his General Audience on Wednesday expressed his closeness to those affected by a magnitude 4.0 earthquake that hit the IItalian island of Ischia on Monday night.

At least two people were killed and three young children, including a 7 month old baby were pulled from the rubble by firefighters.

One of the victims was an elderly woman who was in a church that crumbled in the disaster.

Dozens of people were injured when the quake struck and around 2,600 people were left homeless.

The Holy Father prayed for the dead, and injured. He also prayed for their families, and all those who lost their homes.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Audience: Christian hope is God's heavenly welcome

(Vatican Radio) During his General Audience on Wednesday the Pope continued his catechesis on Christian hope reflecting on the hope contained in our ultimate destination, the heavenly Kingdom of God.

Listen to our report:

Pope Francis explained that on life’s pilgrimage “we encounter the God of surprises who treats us with infinite tenderness, like a father welcoming his children home after a long and difficult journey. “

He went on to say that, even if many experience life as a prolonged period of suffering, such as people haunted by violence and war, there is still “a Father who weeps with infinite compassion for his children, and who waits to console them with a very different future.”

He noted in particular the recent attacks in Barcelona, and sad news coming out of the Democratic Republic of Congo that made headline news.

Among those present in the Paul VI Hall on Wednesday were many English speaking pilgrims. The Holy Father had a special greeting pilgrims from the Cardjin Community International on the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis General Audience: English summary

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at his Wednesday General Audience in the Paul VI Hall.

Please find below the official English-language summary:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: As we continue to explore the virtue of Christian hope, we discover in the final pages of the Bible that the ultimate destination of our Christian pilgrimage will be the heavenly Jerusalem.  And on this pilgrimage we encounter the God of surprises who treats us with infinite tenderness, like a father welcoming his children home after a long and difficult journey.  Even if many experience life as a prolonged period of suffering – think of the fearful faces of those haunted by violence and war – still there is a Father who weeps with infinite compassion for his children, and who waits to console them with a very different future.  We believe that neither death nor hatred have the last word, for we Christians see, with great hope, a larger horizon: the Kingdom of God, where all evil is banished forever.  It is Jesus himself who is the light of this new future, and who even now accompanies us on our way.  Creation did not stop on the sixth day of Genesis, because God is continually looking after us, always ready to pronounce his blessing: “Behold, I make all things new! (Rev 21:5)”.

(from Vatican Radio)

5 Steps for Praying When You’re Overwhelmed

5 Steps for Praying When You’re Overwhelmed

Has a large event occurred recently that jolted you? Are you feeling shaken by one of life’s storms like losing a loved one or losing…

The post 5 Steps for Praying When You’re Overwhelmed appeared first on Busted Halo.

Vatican, Russia agree visa-free diplomatic travel, need for dialogue in Venezuela

(Vatican Radio)  Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov for talks on Tuesday, during which they discussed issues of international concern and agreed to visa-free diplomatic travel.

Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:

During the press conference following their talks, the Holy See and the Russian Federation signed an Agreement waiving visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports.

Cardinal Parolin and Foreign Minister Lavrov called this a sign of the two countries’ desire to continue to work together on bilateral relations and issues of international concern.

Cardinal Parolin said he raised questions regarding the Catholic Church’s life and activity in Russia with his counterpart.

He said difficulties remaining between the Vatican and Russia include “working residency permits for non-Russian personnel and the restitution of several churches necessary for the pastoral care of Catholics in the country.”

Christians in Middle East

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov evoked the need for solutions for Christians living in the Middle East.

“We need to find similar solutions that would provide proper balance between different ethnic and religious groups in Yemen, Libya, and Iraq, where state building processes are underway,” Mr. Lavrov said.

Cardinal Parolin said he recognized the difference in approach between Russia and the Holy See on these issues. But he said the two share a “strong concern for the situation of Christians in several countries of the Middle East and the African continent”.

“The Holy See nourishes constant concern that religious liberty be preserved in all States and in all political situations,” Cardinal Parolin said.

Dialogue in Venezuela

Responding to a question about the situation in Venezuela, Cardinal Parolin said he believes Russia can help to overcome this very difficult moment.”

He said Russia can promote the Vatican’s efforts to create dialogue between Venezuela’s government and the opposition.

“This is the only solution the Holy See sees for an exit to this situation.”

Cardinal Secretary of State Parolin meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Wednesday.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope encourages Methodists and Waldensians to walk path to full Christian unity

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged Methodist and Waldensian Churches to continue to walk together with the Catholic Church on the path towards full Christian unity pointing out that in a world lacerated by violence and fear it is all the more important to live and to convey the Christian message of welcome and fraternity.  

The Pope’s words of friendship and closeness came in a message on Monday to the annual Synod of the Italian Methodist and Waldensian Churches taking place in Torre Pellice - near Turin - from 20 to 25 August.

Recalling recent encounters between the Churches and a shared celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, the Pope said “May Jesus’ gaze brighten our relationship so that it is never just formal or proper, but fraternal and lively.”

“The Good Shepherd – he continued – wants us to walk together and his gaze embraces all of his disciples whom He wants to see fully united”.

Francis also said that to walk towards full unity with the hope that derives from the knowledge that God’s presence is stronger than evil, is all the more important today, “in a world scarred by violence and fear, by wounds and indifference, in which the egoism of self-affirmation to the detriment of others overshadows the simple beauty of welcome, sharing and loving”.

“Our Christian witness, he said, must not yield to the logic of the world: let’s help each other to choose and live the logic of Christ.”

At the Synod some 180 representatives of the Methodist and Waldensian Churches – both pastors and lay people in equal number – will be deciding on Church programmes for the coming year, and will be electing their executive and administrative bodies.

(from Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis calls for a shared response to challenge of contemporary migration

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees was released on Monday under the title, “Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants and refugees. In the message the Pope calls for a shared response to the challenges of contemporary migration, adding that "in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable."

Listen to our report:

 

Shared response

In the message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees the Pope says that “The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future. This solidarity, he adds, “must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.”  

Pope Francis goes on to say that this is a great responsibility, which “the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.

Pope Francis sums up that shared response in four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.

Welcoming, explains the Holy Father means, “above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.  This, he says, calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.”  The Pope also emphasises the importance of “offering migrants and refugees adequate and dignified initial accommodation.”

Protecting migrants

The second verb, protecting Pope Francis continues “may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status. When duly recognised and valued, the Pope says, the potential and skills of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them.”

Speaking about the third verb Promoting, the Holy Father notes that “many migrants and refugees have abilities, such as their ability to work. He goes on to encourage a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship.

With regard to integration, the Pope comments that integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, he adds, “contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.”

Global  Contribution 

Concluding the message the Holy Father underlines that the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed. Yet, he stresses, “in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities.

Pope Francis also invites the faithful to play their part in the process leading to the approval of the two Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for migrants.

(from Vatican Radio)

5 Eating Skills That Will Last a Lifetime

5 Eating Skills That Will Last a Lifetime

After a summer of barbecues, s’mores, and ice cream, you might be considering a diet to help you slim down. Well-intentioned, often desperate souls begin…

The post 5 Eating Skills That Will Last a Lifetime appeared first on Busted Halo.

What’s the Difference Between the Catholic and Lutheran Belief in Communion?

What’s the Difference Between the Catholic and Lutheran Belief in Communion?

In terms of similarity of belief, Lutherans and Catholics agree that the celebration of the Eucharist involves a sacrifice of praise and self-offering that unites…

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Lessons from the Night Sky

Lessons from the Night Sky

New York City isn’t known for its stars (of the celestial variety, at least). It may be one of the world’s greatest cities — boasting…

The post Lessons from the Night Sky appeared first on Busted Halo.