POPE FRANCIS TALKS ABOUT THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF HIS PAPACY – CARDINAL MARADIAGA ON FRANCIS’ DESIRE FOR “A POOR CHURCH, FOR THE POOR” – DON’T FORGET “24 HOURS FOR THE LORD”! – VATICAN INSIDER FEATURES TALK BY CARDINAL SEAN O’MALLEY

I’m still in Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast for a few days off but I could not let the Pope’s anniversary pass without some news, in addition to announcing, as I do every Friday, my guest this weekend on “Vatican Insider.” I’ve also posted some news on facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420 – and be sure to check this every day because I have an important announcement to make.

And how can we not think of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI on this day!  Many prayers and much love is being sent your way, today, Santo Padre!

Now, on to Pope Francis’ anniversary…..

The following two verses, two of the three original verses of Fr. Frederick Faber’s hymn, were part of the Prayer for the Evening on Friday, March 6 in the March edition of MAGNIFICAT. Only one thought went through my mind as I read these words: Isn’t this what Pope Francis has been telling us for two years?  Church teaching but with room for God’s love and mercy, His understanding and forgiveness:

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea;

there’s a kindness in his justice, which is more than liberty.

There is welcome for the sinner, and more graces for the good;

there is mercy with the Savior; there is healing in his blood.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of man’s mind;

and the heart of the Eternal;

Is most wonderfully kind.

But we make His love too narrow

By false limits of our own;

And we magnify his strictness

With a zeal He will not own.

The lines above in italics are not part of the original whose final four lines are:

If our love were but more faithful, we should take him at His word;

and our life would be thanksgiving for the goodness of the Lord.)

Here is the original second verse (not included in Magnificat)

There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than in heaven; there is no place where earth’s failings have such kind judgment given. There is plentiful redemption in the blood that has been shed; there is joy for all the members in the sorrows of the Head.

Click here to read more about Fr. Faber: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2012/the-zeal-of-a-convert-father-frederick-faber

POPE FRANCIS TALKS ABOUT THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF HIS PAPACY

Pope Francis addressed migration, drug trafficking, the reform of the Curia, the challenges of the synod for the family, making the Church a safe home for all children and vulnerable adults, details of the conclave that elected him, the proliferation of sects in Latin America, the length of his pontificate and why Mexico is not on his September trip to the United States in an interview with Valentina Alazraki of Televisa, a Mexican broadcaster.

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Click here to read the transcript of the conversation between the Pope and mexican journalist: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-on-his-pontificate-to-date

CARDINAL MARADIAGA ON FRANCIS’ DESIRE FOR “A POOR CHURCH, FOR THE POOR”

(Vatican Radio)  As Pope Francis marks the second anniversary of his election, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis, looks at one of the main hallmarks of his papacy, his desire “for a poor Church, for the poor.”  It was only three days after his election on March 13, 2013 that Pope Francis spoke that much-quoted phrase during an audience with journalists and since then the Pope’s words and deeds have helped to reinforce that message in many different ways.

Cardinal Maradiaga it was obvious “right from the very beginning” when the newly-elected Pope chose the name of Francis after the great Italian saint from Assisi who renounced his wealth and devoted his life to the poor that reaching out to the poor and marginalized would be a key hallmark of his papacy.  Calling it a “great message”, the Honduran Cardinal said Pope Francis is trying “to change attitudes” and fight “the indifference” of so many in today’s society to this moral imperative to help the poor and marginalised.

Cardinal Mariadiaga, who’s the coordinator of the C-9 group of cardinals tasked with helping the Pope to reform the Roman Curia, spoke to Susy Hodges: http://www.news.va/en/news/cardinal-maradiaga-on-popes-desire-for-poor-church

DON’T FORGET “24 HOURS FOR THE LORD”!

Help Pope Francis mark the second anniversary of his election to the papacy by participating in the second annual “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative that starts this evening, Friday, March 13 with a penitential prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica presided over by Pope Francis in order to place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center of the Church’s mission of the new evangelization. The theme that will guide the reflection in 2015 isGod rich in mercy (Eph 2:4).

The Holy Father announced this initiative last year at the Angelus on March 23 when he said,  a “special moment of penance” called the “24 Hours for the Lord”‘ will be held in St Peter’s Basilica and in many churches in Rome and around the world.” It was held on March 28-29 last year. The Pope said at the time that this event “will start with a celebration in St Peter’s Basilica on Friday afternoon, Then, in the evening and overnight some churches in the center of Rome will be open for prayers and confessions. It will be a festival of forgiveness, which will also take place in many dioceses and parishes around the world.”

In Rome, some of the churches that will be open through the night for confessions, Eucharistic adoration and private prayer include Sant’Agnese in Piazza Navona, Santa Maria in Trastevere, and the Church of the Stigmata of St. Francis (Chiesa delle Sacre Stimmate di San Francesco) in Rome’s central Largo Argentina.

“24 Hours for the Lord” concludes at 5pm on Saturday with Vespers presided over by Archbishop Fisichella at Santo Spirito in Sassia, Archbishop Fisichella is president of the council for the new evangelization from whence came this initiative.

(Dioceses around the world are participating in this event, so check with your local diocese, if you have not already done so

VATICAN INSIDER FEATURES TALK BY CARDINAL SEAN O’MALLEY

I have a different format this weekend on Vatican Insider because I dedicate the entire program to a wonderful talk given by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome. The cardinal spoke on February 16 at a presentation for the press, and a later one for the public, of the CCP, the Center for Child Protection.

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The CCP was established in 2012 by the Gregorian, by the archdiocese of Munich and Freising and by the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology of the State University Clinic of Ulm in Germany.  First located in Munich it has now found a new and permanent home at this pontifical university where it is part of the Institute of Psychology.

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In February 2012, an international symposium of bishops and Church personnel was held at the Gregorian on the sex abuse crisis. Entitled, “Towards Healing and Renewal,” it had the support of the Holy Father (then Pope Benedict) and numerous offices of the Roman Curia, most notably the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that has been overseeing sex abuse cases. The aim of the 2012 symposium was to inform Catholic bishops and religious superiors on the global, cross-cultural resources available in responding to sexual abuse within the Church and society. They learned that the Center for Child Protection, previously set up and running in Munich, would be one such resource tool, as would an e-learning center – now fully operational – at the Gregorian, to help safeguard children and the victims of molestation.

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The February 16 two-part conference, also entitled, “Towards Healing and Renewal,” focused on the renewed commitment of everyone involved in the CCP as well as an update on the Center three years after the 2012 symposium.

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Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley spoke at both events. He is one of the C9 cardinals – the advisory council instituted by Pope Francis that consists of nine cardinals – and is also the head of the Vatican’s own Commission for the Protection of Minors, though that Commission and the CCP are separate entities. The CCP is not a Vatican body.

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