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Pope, U.S. bishops horrified by massacre in Syria

CNS video/Tyler Orsburn: Pope Francis and the U.S. bishops denounce Syria’s chemical warfare, calling the most recent chemical attack that killed at least 70 people on April 4 horrifying. VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis strongly condemned a shocking chemical attack in Syria that left some 70 people, including at least 10 children, dead. “We are horrified by […]

Pope encourages kindness, even to one’s enemies

VATICAN CITY—Hope cannot remain hidden within but must break free to overcome vengeful, mafia-like mentalities with mercy and humility, Pope Francis said. Christians must give witness to hope through their lives as Jesus did and make room for him in their hearts to fight evil by doing good to others, even their enemies, the pope […]

Cross is sign of God’s love, not a shiny trinket, pope says

VATICAN CITY—The cross is a sign of God’s love for humankind and not just an emblem of Christianity or a piece of jewelry to display, Pope Francis said. The cross is a symbol of “the power of God who made himself sin to heal us,” and its significance can be lost due to a lack […]

Continuing ‘Mercy Friday’ practice, pope visits center for blind

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis returned to a practice he developed during the Year of Mercy: making a Friday-afternoon visit to people in need of or deserving special care. For the visit March 31, he chose the Sant’ Alessio-Margherita di Savoia Regional Center for the Blind in Rome. The center is home to 37 adults and senior […]

USCCB chairman opposes executive order on environment

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s executive order calling for a review of the Clean Power Plan jeopardizes environmental protections and moves the country away from a national carbon standard to help meet domestic and international goals to ease greenhouse gas emissions, said the chairman of a U.S. bishops’ committee. The executive order, signed March 28 at the […]

Pope suggests Lenten exercise of asking God why he weeps

VATICAN CITY—Lent is a time for Christians to reflect on the ways they have disappointed God and resolve to return to him with their whole hearts, Pope Francis said. “To forget that God created us, he raised us and he has accompanied us in life — that is disappointing God,” Pope Francis said March 30 […]

Pope Francis: Real hope is based on promises of salvation

VATICAN CITY—Hope is not built on people’s predictions, assurances or line of reasoning, Pope Francis said. Real Christian hope “is not based on our word, but on God’s Word” and promises of salvation and eternal life, the pope said during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square March 29. Continuing a series of reflections on […]

Resentment, complaints are rooted in the sin of sloth, pope says

VATICAN CITY—People should stop blaming and complaining so they can be filled with God’s joy and rise up to life’s challenges, Pope Francis said. Forgetting what joy is and languishing in self-pity come with the sin of sloth, the pope said March 28 in his homily during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae. “It’s a […]

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Four-year ‘encuentro’ process begins in the U.S.

WASHINGTON—In Spanish, the word “encuentro” means encounter and in the modern church in the U.S., it refers to a series of meetings that will take place over the next four years aimed at getting to know Latinos and producing more involvement in the church of its second largest and fastest growing community. “The intent is […]

Spread hope, preach Christ, don’t worry about numbers, pope says

ROME—Visiting Milan, the center of Italian fashion and finance, Pope Francis spent the morning with the poor and those who minister to them. He had lunch at the city’s historic San Vittore prison, where all 893 inmates — men and women — are awaiting trial. But Pope Francis began his visit March 25 on the […]

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