Pope Francis Consecrated Vatican To St Michael The Archangel, Asked Him To Drive Out The Evil One: Battle Against Corruption Begins

I am wondering if a little noticed—certainly little commented upon—event, which took place last Friday, in the gardens of Vatican City, establishes a connection between two apparently quite different subjects about which I have I have written recently.

The first is the frequency with which Pope Francis refers to the devil; the second is the question of what is necessary for him to achieve the long desperately needed reform of the Roman curia. Read more »

We Do Not Pray To A Remote ‘Cosmic God’, Says Pope At Morning Mass

Christians do not pray to a remote “cosmic god” but to the God who is our Father, Pope Francis said at Mass this morning.

Commenting on today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus teaches his disciples to pray the Our Father, the Pope said: “To whom do I pray?

To the Almighty God? He is too far off. Ah, I can’t hear Him. Neither did Jesus. To whom do I pray? To a cosmic god? That’s quite normal these days, is it not?… praying to the cosmic god, right? Read more »

Pope Francis And David Cameron Exchange Letters Ahead Of G8 Summit

Pope Francis and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have exchanged letters ahead of Mondays Group of 8 summit due to take place in Northern Ireland.

The text of Pope Francis’ letter to the British Prime Minister follows:

To The Right Honourable David Cameron, MP Prime Minister, Read more »

Protectors Of The Holy Land

Knighthood is alive and well.

The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the oldest chivalric order in the world — founded 914 years ago — is stronger than ever. Its members live worldwide, with many in the United States.

The order was formed in 1099 by Godfrey de Bouillon, a zealous Christian and leader of the First Crusade that returned Jerusalem to the Christians. Read more »

Mending Vatican Ties: Al-Azhar Wants Pope To Declare Islam Peaceful

An envoy from Al-Azhar in Cairo raised the prospect of restoring ties with the Vatican yesterday but called on Pope Francis to take “a step forward” by declaring that Islam is a peaceful religion.

“The problems that we had were not with the Vatican but with the former pope.

Now the doors of Al-Azhar are open,” Mahmoud Abdel Gawad, diplomatic envoy to the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, told Italian daily Il Messaggero in Cairo. Read more »

Pope Francis: The Corrupt Love Themselves And Harm The Church

Sinners and saints were the focus of Francis’ mass in St. Martha’s House this morning.

Francis spoke about the corrupt who “were sinners like all of us, but they have taken a step beyond that, as if they were confirmed in their sin”.

The mass was attended by priests and staff of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and a group of Gentlemen of His Holiness. The Vatican Radio website has published excerpts from the Pope’s homily. Read more »

Pope Francis To Lead Global Holy Hour On June 2

For the first time in the Church’s history, Catholics worldwide will be simultaneously participating in an hour of Eucharistic adoration on Sunday, led by Pope Francis.

The Holy Hour, to be broadcast from St. Peter’s Basilica on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, will take place on June 2 from 5-6pm local time.

Its theme, “One Lord, One Faith,” was chosen to testify to the deep unity that characterizes it, the Vatican says. Read more »

Vatican And Israel Reach Agreement On Taxes And The Cenacle

The Vatican and Israel are close to reaching an agreement on Church property tax regulations and the running of some places of worship.

All that remains, according to Israeli sources, is to resolve the issues relating to two properties in Caesarea and Jerusalem.

The Cenacle on Mount Zion where, according to Christian tradition, the Last Supper was held, will become a Catholic place of worship once again. Read more »

Michelangelo's Pieta 40 Years After Restoration

On 21 May 1972, Michelangelo's Pieta, exhibited to the public in St. Peter's Basilica, was attacked by a hammer-wielding tourist who had managed to elude the sanctuary's guards.

Hungarian-born Australian geologist Laszlo Toth, who suffered from severe mental problems, threw himself at the sculpture shouting, “I am Jesus Christ, risen from the dead!” and he struck the Pieta 15 times destroying the Madonna's nose, breaking off her left forearm, and smashing that arm's elbow into over 50 pieces. Read more »

Regina Caeli: A Gift And A Treasure For The Church

Ahead of reciting the Easter Marian hymn, Regina Caeli, for the last time this year on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis had a special message for the estimated 200,000 men, women and children gathered before him in St. Peter’s Square and stretching back right to the banks of the Tiber.

He told them; “You are a gift and a treasure for the Church”. Read more »

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