Pope Francis: Wars Begin in the Heart

Independent Catholic News

Divisions, jealousies, misunderstandings and marginalization do not help the Church to grow as the Body of Christ, they shatter it into many pieces, they dismember it. Instead we should remember that we – as the Body of Christ – are called to appreciate the gifts and the quality of others in our communities. This was the main message of Pope Francis’ teaching during the general audience this morning, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square. Earlier he had met the Bayern Munich Football team in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

Francis to visit Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as Concerns over Treatment of Christians Resurface

The Tablet
22 October 2014 17:03 by Hannah Roberts in Rome, Jonathan Luxmoore

Pope Francis will visit the Hagia Sophia museum and the Blue Mosque in which his predecessor prayed when he visits Turkey next month.

Francis’ 28-30 November trip follows an invitation issued by the civil authorities, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the bishops, the Vatican said. The Pope and the Patriarch, who prayed together in Jerusalem in May, will celebrate the 30 November ecumenical feast of St Andrew the Apostle together. The pair will also sign a Joint Declaration aimed at strengthening Catholic-Orthodox relations, as they did when they met in May.

Cardinal condemns ‘repugnant’ beheading of David Haines

15 September 2014 14:43 by Liz Dodd in The Tablet

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has described as “repugnant and chilling” the murder of a third Western hostage by Islamic State militants, as Pope Francis suggested that the world is in the midst of World War III.

A video released on Sunday showed the beheading of British aid worker and father-of-two, David Haines, by an apparently British jihadist. His murder follows those of US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Cardinal Maradiaga: We confront the greatest crisis since WWII

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga opened a High Level Caritas meeting for the crises in the Middle East with an impassioned call for peace.

Speaking on Monday at the start of the Rome meeting scheduled to run from 15 to 17 September, Cardinal Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis, spoke of the tragedy of millions in Syria who are forced to flee their homes because of conflilct, of the violence of fundamentalist extremism in Iraq and eastern Syria, of the predicament of Gaza inhabitants who have lost all in recent Israeli bombing. “As part of the humanitarian community” he said “we are confronted with the greatest crisis the world has faced since the Second World War.

Francis’ support for Romero cause is exciting because of its urgency – could he be beatified by end of 2015?

The Tablet

Pope Francis’ words (on the plane home from Korea) in regard to Oscar Romero’s beatification have brought great joy here in El Salvador and indeed around the world.

But the first media reports have been somewhat misleading. It is important to read what Pope Francis actually said:

“The process was blocked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “for reasons of prudence,” it was said.

Now it is unblocked and it is in the Congregation for Saints and follows the normal path of a process. It depends on how the postulators move; it’s very important to move in haste.

What I would like is to have clarified when there is martyrdom in “odium fidei” [out of hate for the faith], whether it is for confessing the credo or for performing the works that Jesus commands us to do for our neighbour. This is a work of theologians that is being studied. Because behind him [Romero], there is Rutilio Grande and there are others. There are others that were also killed but are not at the same height as Romero. This has to be distinguished theologically.

For me, Romero is a man of God. He was a man of God but there has to be the process, and the Lord will have to give his sign [of approval]. But if He wishes, He will do so! The postulators must move now because there are no impediments.”

Pope appeals for peace and reconciliation in Korea as he begins five-day trip

The Tablet

Pope Francis has called for peace and reconciliation on the first day of his pastoral visit to South Korea, as protests threatened to overshadow the five-day trip.

Addressing the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, at the Blue House in Seoul this afternoon Pope Francis said that South Korea’s quest for peace with the North was close to his heart, “for it affects the stability of the entire area and indeed of our whole war-weary world.”

Vatican calls for Muslim leaders to condemn IS ‘barbarism’ as Pope’s envoy lands in Jordan

The Tablet

Pope Francis’ personal envoy, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, has been dispatched to Iraq to take aid to thousands of Christians driven from their homes by terrorist fighters of the newly established Islamic State (IS).

Pope Francis dispatched Cardinal Filoni, who was papal nuncio to the country at the time of the US-led invasion of Iraq, on Friday, after expressing outrage at the increasing violence towards displaced Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities. “Thousands of people, among them many Christians, banished brutally from their houses, children dying of hunger and thirst as they flee, women kidnapped, people massacred, violence of all kinds, destruction everywhere … All of this deeply offends God and deeply offends humanity,” he said on Sunday.

Catholic Patriarch in Baghdad calls for international community to flush out IS jihadists or face blame for ‘slow genocide’

The Tablet

The Chaldean Patriarch in Baghdad called for the international community to “clear the Nineveh plain from all the elements of jihadist warriors”, warning that without drastic action the world would be responsible for allowing “a slow genocide” to take place.

Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako said international efforts to halt the Islamic State (IS) jihadists and save the lives of the hundreds of thousands they have displaced are “insufficient”.

The Witchcraft Connection of the Deadly Ebola Virus

Mary Kenny in The Irish Catholic

Witchcraft is a phenomenon that has been somewhat rehabilitated in recent decades – considered now to be either a harmless amusement involving tales of spells and potions, or, even, a feminist cause, since alleged witches were the object of persecution in certain febrile phases of history.

Arthur Miller’s famous play The Crucible is a powerful invocation of that hysteria stirred up by claims of witchcraft – it was a metaphor, of course, for the victimisation of Communists by the late Senator Joe McCarthy, although certain critics still point out that Communists really did exist, whereas witches were somewhat more elusive.