Yesteday was the annual Lenten gathering of the priests of Rome with their bishop. As he does so often Pope Francis departed from his prepared text. He shared this story of a grace-filled theft he had committed:
Pope Francis on Friday met with a delegation in the Vatican from the World Council of Churches telling them, they had "contributed greatly to making all Christians aware that our divisions represent a serious obstacle to the witness of the Gospel in the world and also thanking them for their work in support of Christian unity.
ROME (CNS) -- Lent is meant to wake up Christians and help them see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings, Pope Francis said.
To mark his first full turn at these 40 Days on Peter's Chair, Pope Francis has issued a formal message for the season, drawn from Paul's 2 Corinthians depiction that Christ "became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."
The survey points to what has been described as the Francis Effect says Matthew Bunson, senior correspondent for Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic Magazine. Bunson explains that, "He [Francis] "hasn't hit the reset button, but he's done a lot to repair the general public image of the Catholic Church in the wake of the sex abuse crisis."
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis praised Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on contraception.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church could tolerate some types of nonmarital civil unions as a practical measure to guarantee property rights and health care. He also said the church would not change its teaching against artificial birth control but should take care to apply it with "much mercy."
(Vatican Radio) Below, please find the English language summary of Pope Francis’ catechesis at his weekly General Audience, with the Holy Father’s greetings for English-speaking pilgrims:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Because his cassock doesn't have a breast pocket, Pope Francis said he wears a cloth pouch under his white robes to carry the crucifix he took from a deceased priest.
(Vatican Radio) The National Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Brazil (Cnbb) on Ash Wednesday launched the 2014 Brotherhood Campaign, focusing this year on the theme “Brotherhood and human trafficking”.
Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=778825
of the Vatican Radio website
(Vatican Radio) Humility, meekness, generosity: this is the Christian “style,” a way of life that travels along the way the Cross, as Jesus did, and is a life that leads to joy. That was the message of Pope Francis in his homily on Thursday during the Mass at Santa Marta.
Vatican Radio) Pope Francis and the secretary general of the World Council of Churches, Rev Olav Fykse Tveit, have discussed “new opportunities for Christian unity today”, focused on working together for peace, justice and environmental protection.
Following in the footsteps of 17 centuries of his predecessors on this first day of Lent, 51 weeks since his election to Peter's Chair, tonight the 266th Bishop of Rome took his first turn at the traditional penitential procession along the Avventine Hill, starting from the Benedictine mother-church of Sant'Anselmo toward the Dominican base at Santa Sabina, this Ash Wednesday's station church.