Sunday reading

Reading for pleasure, but if I learn something along the way, that's gravy...

Pope Says Only Men Can Be Priests But Women Must Have Voice In Church

The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on the inadmissibility of women priests, Pope Francis said but it does have to stop linking all decision making to ordination and allow women to have a voice in deliberations.

In his apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), Pope Francis wrote that the involvement of all Catholics is needed -- both as missionaries and in revising structures and pastoral programs to ensure they are focused on mission. Read more »

Pope Francis Calls For Full Religious Freedom In The Middle East

After a two-hour private meeting today with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches, Pope Francis prayed for peace and full religious freedom throughout the Middle East.

Referring to himself, he said “the Bishop of Rome will not be at peace as long as there are men and women – of any religion – harmed in their dignity, deprived of what is necessary for their survival, robbed of their future or forced to become refugees. Read more »

More Christians Persecuted Than In The First Centuries

At midday today, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented on Jesus' discourse in Jerusalem about the end of time. Jesus exhorted the apostles not to be deceived by false messiahs and not to be paralysed by fear but rather to live this moment of waiting in hope, as a time of witness and perseverance. Read more »

Cardinal Tauran: Religion Must Avoid Engendering A Spirit Of Superiority Or Exclusion

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, gave an address at today's inaugural session of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue (KAICIID).

The centre is an independent organisation based in Vienna and founded by Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain, to which the Holy See adheres in the role of Founding Observer. Read more »

Archbishop William Goh: Seeing Our Medical Profession As A Vocation

Physicians share a very important aspect of God’s work which is to give and sustain life.

As collaborators with the ‘Author of Life’, doctors must ensure that respect for the sacredness of life is upheld at all times.

For this is the basis of the Hippocratic Oath which physicians pledge - to defend and protect life. Are you consciously aware that you share in God’s work of healing and giving life? Read more »

Pope Francis: An Injured Church Is Better Than A Closed Church

“Catechesis is a pillar for education in the faith and it needs good catechists!” Being a good catechist “begins with Christ” which means not being  “afraid to “go with Christ to the peripheries.”

These were Pope Francis’ words to participants of the International Conference on Catechesis (which kicked off yesterday in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican) held as part of the Year of Faith initiative.

1600 catechists, pastoral workers, professors and experts from various educational institutions are attending the Conference on the theme “Catechist: A Witness of Faith”. Read more »

Gospel Story: The Ten Lepers

In Jesus’s day, lepers and others with virulent skin diseases were shunned and segregated to special ghettos on the outskirts of the village.

They dared not move out of these. And if they needed to use a common road, or the market-place, they had to ring a bell to warn people to get out of the way.

Have public attitudes to leprosy and such changed much today? Consider, for example, how AIDS patients are treated. Read more »

Church Celebrates Our Lady of the Rosary

Today is the feast of the Holy Rosary, perhaps the most popular prayer in the Catholic tradition.

The word ‘rosary’ comes from a Latin word meaning a garland of roses, and thus, a series of prayers in honour of  God, or in this instance, of Mary his Mother.

It is believed that St Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, received this revelation from Our Lady herself in the 13th century, and Dominican preachers were the very first of those who popularized this devotion. Read more »

Pope Says Focus On Morality Can Obscure Gospel Message

In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with one of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Catholic teaching on sexual and medical ethics; the reasons for his deliberate and consultative governing style; and his highest priority for the church today.

The pope's remarks appeared in an interview with Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica. Read more »

Victims Of Suicide Bombers In Pakistan Are ‘Christian Martyrs’, Says Archbishop Of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that victims of an attack on a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, should be considered Christian martyrs.

Speaking to Radio 4′s, The World At One, Archbishop Welby said: “I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith.

“I think it is true to say in All Saints Peshawar that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days. Read more »

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