Often, noted the pontiff, we seek to justify our
sins by making excuses and saying that "we are all sinners," and that this
fight "is our struggle."
"If we don't recognize this, we will never be
able to have God's forgiveness," urged the Pope, "because if being a
sinner is a word, a way of speaking, a manner of speaking, we have no
need of God's forgiveness. But if it is a reality that makes us slaves,
we need this interior liberation of the Lord, of that force."Pope Francis
opened his homily by reflecting that for many believing adults, the idea
of confessing one's sins to a priest is either so unbearable that they
completely avoid the Sacrament, or the process is so painful that the
truth is transformed into a form of fiction.
For the past six years, Bishop Fabre has served
as Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans. A native of New Roads, Louisiana, he was
ordained in Baton Rouge and served a variety of roles in that diocese before
coming to New Orleans. He will now lead the Houma-Thibodaux diocese's
approximately 125,000 Catholics. Full Story
Isaiah "Kit" Marshall, the diocesan director of
the Office of Black Catholic Ministry for the past 11 years, is the first
honoree to receive the Bishop Harold R. Perry Award from the Catholic
Negro-American Mission Board. The board, established in 1907, is one of
three interrelated organizations within the Black and Indian Mission Office
in Washington, D.C., founded by the Catholic bishops of the United States.
Marshall was recognized, in part, for his ability to engage and form Black
Catholic leaders in the diocese, and his collaboration with the national
office on plans and projects. Full Story
...Pope Francis said Blessed John was "a bit of
the 'country priest,' a priest who loves each of the faithful and knows how
to care for them; he did this as a bishop and as a nuncio."… As for Blessed
John Paul, Pope Francis told the reporters on the plane, "I think of him as
'the great missionary of the church," because he was "a man who proclaimed
the Gospel everywhere." Full Story
Speaking today during a meeting with members of
the Pontifical Council for the Family. Pope Francis remarked, "There are
problems in marriage: different points of view, jealousies, arguments, but
tell young couples to never let the day end without making peace. The
sacrament of matrimony is renewed in this act of peace." "This path is not
easy, but it is so beautiful," the pope said. "It's beautiful. Tell them
that." FUll Story
Nearly 40 churches have been looted and torched,
while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged since Wednesday, when
chaos erupted after Egypt's military-backed interim administration moved in
to clear two camps packed with protesters calling for Morsi's reinstatement,
killing scores of protesters and sparking deadly clashes nationwide.
Cardinal Turkson discussed environmental issues
in the context of Catholic social teaching. While it is sometimes said that
the Church's social teaching began with Pope Leo XIII, the cardinal rejected
this claim, explaining instead that Pope Leo formalized principles that had
always been in place. Full Story
Young pilgrims from across the country said the
energetic feeling of being among hundreds of thousands of people from the
world's different cultures who are unafraid of sharing their faith is both
dynamic and inspiring. Full Story
People face all kinds of dilemmas: midlife
career changes, decisions about medical care for family members, life
vocations, marriage, religious or single life, priesthood. Others are just
looking for that something more that God seems to be nudging them to
explore. Full Story
Recent comments by Pope Francis on the role of
women in the Church not only assert that their status does not depend on
ordination, but call for a developed "theology of women," says a Catholic
analyst. Full Story
In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic
Church, the church teaches that homosexual people "must be accepted with
respect, compassion and sensitivity" and that "every sign of unjust
discrimination in their regard should be avoided."
Reacting to the protests and scattered violence
in response to the verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman for the
shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, a group of black Christian
ministers has called for peace. Full Story
There was recently found a news article from the
New York Times dated January 2, 1889 detailing the events of the first day
of the first National Black Catholic Congress. Included in the article there
is mention of the elected officers of the Congress and comments made by
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore. Full Story
In the Diocese of San Bernardino, African-
American and African immigrant Catholics are coming together for the
"African Diaspora Dialogue." The discussion will focus on the sometimes
tense relationship between African-American and immigrant black people. Full Story
Pax Christi, the national Catholic peace
movement, has suffered from both waning interest and funds in recent years
and Sr. Chappell is fighting hard to keep the organization alive and
relevant. They are trying to broaden the scope of issues that Pax Christi
confronts without diluting its message of peace. Full Story
The US Bishops Conference has appropriated $9
million in monies to fight poverty in the US. The money will be divided up
and dispersed to a few different worthy causes. One of those causes will be
the Catholic Campaign for Human Development's new National Strategic Grant
Program. Full Story
"A Christian who is not a revolutionary today
isn't a Christian," said the Pope. He called on all Catholics to "bring
God's love and the promise of salvation to the poor, the sad and the
suffering." Pope Francis has made it one of his priorities upon taking
office to account for the poor and unvoiced members of society. Full Story
The Guttmacher Institute determined in 2011 that
only 9% of abortion facilities are located in predominantly Black
neighborhoods. Some would consider this a definitive answer to the question,
but it most certainly is not. Protecting Black Life's research on Planned
Parenthood's targeting of minorities shows that Guttmacher's research does
not tell the whole story, especially when it comes to Planned Parenthood's
targeting activities. Full Story
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
"…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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