Pope prays for victims of Mexican earthquake

Pope Francis at his weekly General Audience on Wednesday expressed his closeness to the people of Mexico after the country was hit Tuesday by a powerful earthquake. “Here among you (in St Peter’s Square), the Pope said, there are many Mexicans; the earthquake has caused casualties and material damage and in this moment of pain I express my closeness to the whole Mexican population “. He continued, “I ask Almighty God to welcome all those who lost their lives”, and he also remembered the rescue workers involved in helping those affected. Finally, the…

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Pope Francis creates new Pontifical Institute for marriage and family

Pope Francis has announced the creation of a new Pontifical Institute for the study of marriage and the family to carry forward the work of the two recent synods and Amoris Laetitia. In a motu proprio published Tuesday, the Vatican announced the new John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences will replace the original organisation founded by his predecessor in 1981. The Pope said the recent synods on the family had brought a new awareness of the “new pastoral challenges to which the Christian community is called…

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Mexican bishops offer prayers for earthquake victims

The Mexican bishops’ conference have offered their prayers for those affected by the earthquake that hit Mexico City and the state of Puebla on Tuesday. “We unite ourselves with the pain for the victims of the earthquake that happened today, September 19, 2017, in various places in our country,” they said in a statement. “Thousands of hands have formed chains of life to rescue, feed and do their bit in these emergencies.” The number of fatalities has climbed to over 200, with one of the most desperate rescue efforts at…

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Canada to be consecrated to Immaculate Heart of Mary to mark the 150th anniversary

As Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation with fireworks and block parties, Catholic faithful will be celebrating spiritually, with the consecration of the nation to Mary. Bishops across Canada will be consecrating their dioceses and eparchies to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, July 1. The bishops of Canada will also gather together in Ottawa in September to make the act of consecration collectively. In Edmonton, Archbishop Smith will lead the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Basilica, in which the people of the Archdiocese…

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Cardinal Nichols offers prayers for victims of London explosion

Following the terrorist act on a train at Parsons Green Underground Station on Friday September 15, Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has issued the following statement: “I am dismayed at yet another cowardly attack on innocent people, including young children, as they were commuting to work and school this morning. “I pray for all who were injured in the blast and in the ensuing stampede, and for all who were affected by the incident. May God grant them and all Londoners peace and strengthen our resolve to stand against…

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Pope at Mass: ‘Pray for leaders despite their mistakes’

As Christians we must pray for our elected leaders, even if we don’t agree with their politics. That was Pope Francis’ message during Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Monday, as he reflected on the readings for the day. Pope Francis took as his starting point the First Reading from St Paul’s Letter to Timothy, where he asks that “supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings” be offered “for kings and for all in authority”. In the day’s Gospel, a Roman leader, the centurion, prays that his servant be healed. Recognize…

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Christian man sentenced to death in Pakistan for ‘Blaspheming’ Prophet of Islam

A Christian father of two in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blaspheming Islam’s prophet in a phone text even though he is illiterate, sources said. Nadeem James, 27, was charged in July 2016 in Gujrat District after a friend, Yasir Bashir, complained to police that he received a poem via WhatsApp instant messaging that was derogatory towards Muhammad and other revered Islamic figures. James’ attorney, Riaz Anjum, told News men that the court sentenced James to death on Thursday (Sept. 14). “The trial was held inside the prison…

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Marawi priest rescued from Maute captivity

A Catholic priest held hostage for almost four months in the besieged southern city of Marawi has been rescued hours after a deadly battle between Philippine soldiers and Islamic State-allied militants. Father Teresito “Chito” Soganub was found abandoned with another hostage near a mosque early Sunday, one of three militant strongholds that have fallen to government forces over the past several days. Father Soganub had been held captive since militants attacked his Saint Mary’s Parish during the siege of Marawi on May 23. On May 30 he appeared in a propaganda video…

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Rescued Indian priest addresses the media about his captivity

Abducted Indian Catholic priest, rescued on September 12 after 18 months of captivity in Yemen, said on Saturday that he was never subject to any physical violence or harm, even though his captors feigned violence in videos only to obtain a ransom or quick response from authorities. Appearing weak after losing 30 kilograms in captivity, Salesian of Don Bosco, Father Tom Uzhunnalil showed a strong spiritual force and clear mind within at the press conference at the Salesian headquarters in Rome, September 16.  The 59-year old priest spoke in English helped by…

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Pope contemplates Our Lady of Sorrows at Santa Marta Mass

Pope Francis’ homily at the Mass in the Casa Santa Marta this morning focused on the figure of Our Lady of Sorrows, whose feast day the Church celebrates on September 15th. Contemplating the Mother of Jesus We need to contemplate the Mother of Jesus, said the Pope, we need to contemplate “this sign of contradiction, because Jesus is victorious, but upon the Cross”. This is a contradiction, he said, that we can’t understand. “It takes faith to understand it, at least to come close (to understanding) this mystery”. The first…

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