The NBCC joins the world in celebrating the election
of our new dear Pontiff, Pope Francis! You inspire us, and we look forward to your
spiritual guidance. Thank you for saying Yes to God!
By MATTHEW JAFFE (@matthewbjaffe)
VATICAN CITY, March 14, 2013
There was not a "dry eye in the house" at the
Sistine Chapel the moment when former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was
elected as the next pope, with the 115 cardinals meeting for the conclave
then bursting into applause, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New
"[It is] a remarkably emotional experience,
even though we weren't surprised, because we could see it coming as the
votes was tallied, and we see the direction that the Holy Spirit was
leading us," Dolan told "Good Morning America" today. "But, still, the
moment he got to the number needed, 77, was wonderfully inspirational. I
don't think there was a dry eye in the house."
By Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is the English
translation of Pope Francis I's remarks delivered from the balcony after
his election as pope.
Brothers and sisters, good evening. You know
that the task of the conclave was to give Rome a bishop. It seems my
brother cardinals went almost to the ends of the earth to find one.
I thank you for your welcome.
The diocesan community of Rome has its
bishop. Thank you.
First of all, I would like to offer a prayer
for our bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him
that the Lord bless him and that the Mother of God protect him. "Our
Father who art in heaven. ... Hail Mary, full of grace. ... Glory be to
the Father ... ."
Francis has decided to retain the essential features of his episcopal
Coat of Arms, which he adopted when he was ordained a Bishop. The coat of
arms chosen by Pope Francis is very simple.
The blue shield is surrounded by symbols of
papal dignity; they are essentially the same as those chosen by his
predecessor, Benedict XVI (a mitre placed between two crossed keys, one
gold and the other silver, bound by a red cord). At the top of the shield
stands the emblem of the Order to which the Pope belongs, the Society of
Jesus: a radiant and blazing sun bearing the red letters IHS, a monogram
of the name of Jesus Christ. The letter 'H' is surmounted by a cross,
with three black nails at the cross's tip.
The star and the spikenard flower are located
at the bottom of the shield. According to ancient heraldic tradition, the
star symbolizes the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ and of the Church,
while the nard flower symbolizes St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal
Church. According to traditional Hispanic iconography, in fact, St.
Joseph is depicted as holding a branch of spikenard. By incorporating
these images into his shield, the Pope has wished to express his special
devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to St. Joseph.
It is we who must conform, not God.
On an interview for "This Week" George
Stephanopoulos asked Archbishop Dolan about why 60 percent of American
Catholics say the Church is out of touch with their concerns. "Sometimes
by nature," Dolan explained, "the Church has got to be out of touch with
concerns, because we're always supposed to be thinking of the beyond, the
eternal, the changeless.
Pope Francis called on the world's priests to
bring the healing power of God's grace to everyone in need, to stay close to
the marginalized and to be "shepherds living with the smell of the sheep."
Those priests "who do not go out of themselves" by being mediators between
God and men can "gradually become intermediaries, managers," he said March
28 during the chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.
After hearing about Pope Francis' Holy Thursday
Mass where he washed the feet of juvenile detainees, imprisoned youth in Los
Angeles wrote letters to the pontiff thanking him for giving them hope.
"Thank you for washing the feet of youth like us in Italy," one prisoner
wrote, "We are also young and made mistakes. Society has given up on us,
thank you that you have not given up on us."
The Department of Justice, Peace and Human
Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging
Catholics to "contact your senators and urge them to support legislation
that will help reduce gun violence."
Seattle, Wash., (CNA).- The Archbishop of
Seattle warned state legislators that a proposed bill requiring abortion
coverage in health care plans will result in a fight to protect the Catholic
Church from being forced to pay for the procedure. "The Catholic Church in
Washington State and its affiliated organizations do not now, nor will we in
the future, offer coverage for abortion in our health care plans,"
Archbishop Peter Sartain told the Washington Senate Committee on Health Care
NEWS ANALYSIS: As the Supreme Court and
politicians weigh 'marriage equality,' Catholic Americans need to remind the
nation why marriage can't be redefined.
(Vatican Radio) The following is a message from
the President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, Archbishop
Zygmunt Zimowski, marking the Sixth World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd
..On the occasion of the Sixth World Autism
Awareness Day, which this year takes place during the liturgical period
of the Easter festivities, the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers
intends to express the solicitude of the Church for autistic people and
their families, inviting Christian communities and people of good will to
express authentic solidarity towards them.
During his second Wednesday general audience,
Pope Francis said that women's main role in the Church is to communicate
God's love. "Women have had and still have a special role in opening doors
to the Lord, in following him and communicating his face, because the eyes
of faith always need the simple and profound look of love," he said April 3
in Saint Peter's Square.
Outside the courthouse Thursday, leaders of two
black, anti-abortion groups condemned Gosnell as racist for aborting so many
black babies during his 30-year career. Gosnell, who is also black,
performed as many as 1,000 abortions a year, many to minorities and
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- After "Bless me, Father, for
I have sinned" -- even if they get that far -- there are millions of
Catholics who don't exactly know what to say next.
This is especially true for Catholics who
have not gone to confession in years, or even decades.
Despite parishes and dioceses inviting
inactive Catholics to return to church at Lent, with the sacrament of
reconciliation as an incentive, it is likely Catholics are afraid,
bewildered or even intimidated at the prospect of returning to the
confessional after such a long period away from it. Full Story
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While the Catholic Church
opposes legal sanctions against homosexuality and favors legal protections
for unmarried people living together, it must defend traditional marriage
for the good of society, said the president of the Pontifical Council for
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, council
president, said the Catholic Church affirms "the equal dignity of every
child of God. No one lacks the dignity of being a child of God, so that
While the church opposes recognizing gay
unions as "marriage," he said, it affirms the full dignity of homosexual
men and women. "If a country outlawed homosexuality, I would work to
overturn it," he said, adding that he believed there are still "20 or 25
countries" that define homosexuality as a crime. Full Story
WASHINGTON (CNS) - Catholic schools are "centers
for the new evangelization," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops'
Committee on Catholic Education.
Catholic schools reach out to children and
parents of diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds, said Bishop
Joseph P. McFadden of Harrisburg, Pa.
"The unique atmosphere of our Catholic
schools is a space and place where the new evangelization can reach out
to parents and children in a way that is respectful of the human person,
presents the teachings of the church, and supports family life," he said
in a statement released Jan. 29.
The statement marked the observance of
National Catholic Schools Week Jan. 27-Feb. 2. Full Story
Pope Benedict XVI has said "the New
Evangelization begins in the confessional." With the Lenten penitential
season approaching, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has designated Wednesday, March
6, from 6-8 p.m., "as the date and time for all the churches of our diocese
to be open for prayer and am asking all our priests to hear individual
confessions during that two-hour time period," he wrote in a letter to
The campaign is called "The Light Is On For
You," and is endorsed by the U.S. bishops.
"The Light Is On For You is an invitation to
all Catholics of a diocese to stop in church for prayer and the
opportunity for Confession," Bishop Rhoades said. The program began in
the Archdiocese of Washington and has been adopted by other dioceses with
much success. With this program, all parishes in a diocese open their
churches on a particular evening for Confessions.
The leader of the U.S. bishops' evangelization committee has offered suggestions
on ways for the faithful to take part in the upcoming Year of Faith through sacramental participation,
prayer and action. Full Story
"…They called the church together and reported what
God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith..."(Acts 14:27).
In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that
God has opened the door of faith for the early Church. But did you know
that God has opened the door of faith for each one us and he invites us
to step through the threshold into a deeper relationship with him. The
upcoming Year of Faith is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn
towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the
Eucharist and rediscover the Faith and Church.
View Full Article
Almost two decades ago, the American bishops issued
the pastoral statement, "When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic
Violence against Women." This October, the USCCB published an updated statement
for national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, describing priests, deacons, and
lay ministers as "first responders" to domestic violence. See the full statement
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