POPE FRANCIS ON CHRISTIAN HOPE AND THE REALITY OF DEATH – FRANCIS DEPLORES TERROR ATTACK IN MOGADISHU – POPE MEETS RELIGIONS OF PEACE DELEGATION

In case you did not see Pope Francis’ tweet today: May artists spread the beauty of the faith and proclaim the grandeur of God’s creation and His boundless love for all.

FYI: The October 20, 21 and 22 Damien and Marianne Catholic Conference that I am attending, covering and speaking at will be streamed via Youtube as well as on www.hictv.com (Hawaii Catholic TV). Hawaii Catholic TV, by the way, has been kind enough to help me film my segments for my Monday and Thursday appearances on “At Home with Jim and Joy.”

The schedule of conference events including speakers, break out sessions and the Tongan Mass on Saturday with Cardinal Mafi is here: www.dmcchawaii.org   Check the time in your part of the world. Honolulu is 6 hours behind the East Coast (ET) and 3 behind Pacific Time.

POPE FRANCIS ON CHRISTIAN HOPE AND THE REALITY OF DEATH

The papal catechesis this morning at the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square focused, as Francis himself told pilgrims, “on Christian hope and the reality of death, a reality which our modern world so often leaves us unprepared to face.  Past civilizations had the courage to face death, and older generations taught the younger to see that inescapable event as a call to live for something enduring, greater than themselves.  For our days, no matter how many they are, pass like a breath.”

Francis explained that, “It is Jesus, however, who ultimately helps us to confront this mystery.  He shows us that it is natural to mourn the loss of a loved one.  For he too wept at Lazarus’ death.  But he did not only mourn; he also prayed to the Father and called Lazarus from the tomb.”

The Holy Father also spoke of the Gospel story of Jairus who turned to Jesus to ask him to save his sick daughter. Jesus answered Jairus’ faith-filled request: “Do not fear, only believe.” And this is what the Pope urged Christians: belief, not fear.

Francis said: “We are all small and defenseless before the mystery of death, but if we keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts, Jesus will take us by the hand, just as he did with Jairus’ daughter when he said: ‘Talitha cum’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise’. To each of us, he will say: ‘I say to you, arise’.”

“Here is our Christian hope,” the Pope summarized. “Jesus has come to heal us, to save us from death. He says: ‘I am the resurrection and the life’; if we believe in him, even if we die, we will live.  In the face of our sorrow, Jesus invites us to faith in him.  This is our hope: when we mourn, we know that Christ remains always close to us.  And one day, when we too face death, we will hear Jesus’s voice: “I say to you, arise.”.

FRANCIS DEPLORES TERROR ATTACK IN MOGADISHU

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has condemned the terrorist attack that killed over 300 people, including children, in the Somali capital Mogadishu. (photo news.va)

 

Speaking during the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said he wished to express his sorrow for the massacre that took place on Saturday.

“This terrorist act , he said, deserves to be most strongly deplored, also because it falls on a population that is already suffering deeply”. Linda Bordoni reports:

The Pope said he is praying for the dead, for the wounded, for their families and for the whole people of Somalia.

“I implore the conversion of those who are violent and send my encouragement to those, who with enormous difficulties, are working for peace in that tortured land” he said.

On the ground in Mogadishu nearly 70 people are still missing  from Saturday’s bomb blast that killed more than 300 people in one of the world’s deadliest attacks in years

The death toll of 302 is expected to rise.

Somalia’s government has blamed the attack on the al-Shabab extremist group, which has not commented.

POPE MEETS RELIGIONS OF PEACE DELEGATION

Pope Francis on Wednesday met a delegation of 80 members of “Religions for Peace,” in a small room of the Paul VI Hall before presiding at the weekly general audience.  He told them, “Religions, with their spiritual and moral resources, have a specific and ‎unique role to play in building ‎peace. They cannot be neutral, much less ‎ambiguous, where peace is concerned.”

Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition that advances common action among the world’s religious communities to transform violent conflict, advance human development, promote just and harmonious societies, and protect the earth.

 

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VATICAN INSIDER: VICKI THORN AND PROJECT RACHEL (PART II) – POPE CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF BARCELONA ATTACK – SPANISH BISHOPS: TERRORISM IS “MOST TERRIBLE FORM OF INTOLERANCE AND TOTALITARIANISM”

VATICAN INSIDER: VICKI THORN AND PROJECT RACHEL (PART II)

Tune in to “Vatican Insider” this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel and the Executive Director of the National office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing in Milwaukee. Vicki was recently re-appointed as a corresponding member of the Pontifical academy for Life.

I will be taking a look in the future at the Academy since its strategies, membership and statutes have been reformed under Pope Francis.

In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml   For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

POPE CONDEMNS “BLIND VIOLENCE” OF BARCELONA ATTACK

Friday, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, sent a telegram in Pope Francis’ name to Cardinal Juan José Omella y Omella, Archbishop of Barcelona, for the attacks in that city:

“In the face of the cruel terrorist attack that sowed death and pain on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Pope Francis wishes to express his very deep pain for the victims who lost their life in such an inhuman action and he offers prayers for the eternal repose of their souls. In these moments of sadness and pain he wishes also to send his support and closeness to the many wounded, to their families and to the entire Catalan and Spanish society. The Holy Father condemns once again blind violence which is a most serious offense against the Creator, and he offers his prayers to the Most High that he help us to continue working with determination for peace and harmony in the world. With these wishes, His Holiness confers his Apostolic Blessing on all the victims, their families and on the dear Spanish people.”

(JFL: The cardinal visited a hospital where many of the wounded were taken: photo from diocese twitter account via Crux)

SPANISH BISHOPS: TERRORISM IS “MOST TERRIBLE FORM OF INTOLERANCE AND TOTALITARIANISM”

(Vatican Radio)  The Catholic bishops of Spain have condemned the terrorist attack in Barcelona’s city center, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than a hundred others on Thursday. Devin Watkins reports:

In a statement released shortly after the terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference strongly condemned all terrorism and offered prayers for the victims.

They called it a “lamentable and detestable act”.

“Before this mournful and detestable act, the Spanish Bishops’ Conference wishes, first of all, to express its solidarity and prayer for all the victims and their families. We also convey our support for the whole of society under attack by these actions, in this case the citizens of Barcelona, as well as for the Security Forces.”

The Spanish bishops went on to condemn “every demonstration of terrorism” as “an intrinsically perverse practice, completely incompatible with a just, reasonable, and moral view of life.”

Terrorism, they say, “not only gravely infringes the right to life and liberty, but is also an example of the most terrible form of intolerance and totalitarianism”.

Turning to the victims of Thursday’s attack, the bishops invite all the faithful “to pray that God grant them eternal rest” and that “He return the injured to health and grant consolation to their families”.

Finally, the Spanish bishops pray that “these despicable actions may never be repeated.”

13 DEAD, 50 WOUNDED WHEN TREE FALLS ON PROCESSION IN MADERA

Yet another terrible tragedy – but this time a natural disaster, not a terror attack…

Pope Francis has sent a telegram to Bishop José Carrilho of Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madera, to express his condolences for the victims of an accident that killed 13 people and wounded about 50 others when a tree fell on a group of Catholic faithful as they prepared to participate in a procession to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on Tuesday. (photo news.va)

The telegram was sent in the Pope’s name by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

The Pope expressed his distress at the many dead and wounded “in the misfortunate accident at Our Lady of the Mount Parish” and entrusted “our deceased brothers and sisters to the mercy of God.” He asked Bishop Carrilho to convey his grief to their families of all the victims.

 

POPE FRANCIS PRAYING FOR VICTIMS, WOUNDED OF BARCELONA ATTACK

POPE FRANCIS PRAYING FOR VICTIMS, WOUNDED OF BARCELONA ATTACK

The following is a declaration from Holy See Press Office director, Greg Burke: “The Holy Father has learned with great concern what has happened in Barcelona. The Pope is praying for the victims of this attempt and wishes to express his closeness to the entire Spanish people, in particular to the wounded and to the families of the victims.”