Pope to Academy for Life: Bad Health or Disability Never a Reason for Exclusion, Elimination

(Vatican Radio) “The loss of health and disability are never a good reason for excluding, or worse, for eliminating a person” – that’s what Pope Francis says in a message dated February 19th to the President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Msgr. Carrasco de Paula. The Council, established by John Paul II with the publication of the Motu Proprio “Vitae Mysterium” on February 11, 1994, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this month.

Consistory: Cardinal Kasper Addresses the Cardinals

(VIS/Vatican Radio) The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave a briefing for journalists at midday Thursday on the progress of the extraordinary consistory for the family which opened this morning in the New Synod Hall and in which around 150 cardinals participated.

“After the Pope’s address, the cardinals sent an affectionate greeting to Archbishop Loris Capovilla, one of the new cardinals to be created by the Holy Father in next Saturday’s consistory, who for reasons of age and health was not able to travel to Rome, but who is present in the spirit of this encounter”, he explained.The introductory presentation by Cardinal Kasper, which will not be published as it was intended for use within the context of the meeting by participants only – occupied almost the entire morning, with the exception of the last ten minutes in which a few comments were made. However, this afternoon and tomorrow morning will be dedicated to comment and discussion.

Pope Francis greets Cardinals at Beginning of Consistory

(Vatican Radio) The Extraordinary Consistory of all the Cardinals began on Thursday morning, ahead of the creation of 19 new Cardinals on Saturday. In his remarks to the Cardinals, Pope Francis spoke about the topic of their reflections: The Family.
“Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole of life,” Pope Francis said. “We will seek to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices which our present situation requires.”
The full text of the Pope’s remarks are below:

Pope Francis: ‘Be Brave – Go to Confession’.

Independent Catholic News

During the General Audience on Wednesday, with thousands of pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis continued his series of catechesis on the Sacraments, focusing on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “When I go to Confession, it is to be healed,” he said. “To heal the soul, to heal the heart because of something I have done that is not going well.”

An English translation follows:

John Paul Notes to be Published

by Paul Keenan for The Irish Catholic

The private notes of Blessed John Paul II are to be produced as a book, his former personal secretary has announced.

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, in his former role, had been asked by the then-Pontiff to burn his private notes after his death, but the camarlengo appointed in the immediate period after John Paul’s passing ordered that no such action should be carried out.

‘No hoax’ in Medjugorje – report

by Michael Kelly for The Irish Catholic

A Vatican-sponsored commission investigating the alleged visions at Medjugorje has reportedly found no evidence that the phenomenon is a hoax or as a result of tricks.

The Pope’s spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi has confirmed that a commission appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to investigate the phenomenon has now completed four years of work and will shortly present a report to the Vatican.

Respected Vatican-watchers Giacomo Galeazzi and Andrea Tornielli have claimed that a judgement by the Church of Medjugorje may come soon. However, while claiming that the commission found no evidence that the alleged visions were a fraud, they point out that it is “proving difficult for the Church to form a definitive verdict”.

The History and Ruins of Jerusalem’s Temple

by Diana von Glahn

Forty days after Jesus was born, the Holy Family travelled to Jerusalem, where they presented the baby to the Lord in the Temple. But did you know that that temple was actually the second temple of the Jews in Jerusalem? The history of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem is long, complicated, and a little confusing. But I’m going to try to unpack it all here.

The Preface of the Mass: Giving Thanks to the Lord

by Dr Eric Johnston. Dr. Johnston is an assistant professor of theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.

Traditionally, the Eucharistic Prayer is divided into the people’s part and the priest’s part. The Preface is a central part of the Mass and the first half of the Eucharistic Prayer. In some Eastern Catholic rites, the priest stands outside with the people during the Preface, then enters into a little building for the priest’s prayers that follow. For some thousand years in the West, the Preface was sung so the people could hear, while the priest’s prayers were silent.