Vatican

Portuguese Cardinal Entrusts Pope Francis To Our Lady Of Fatima

Entrusting Pope Francis’ pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, asked Mary to give the pope courage and strength, particularly as he moves to renew and reform the Catholic Church.

“Give him the gift of discernment to know how to identify the ways of renewal of the church; give him the courage not to hesitate to follow the ways suggested by the Holy Spirit; support him in the hard hours of suffering to overcome with the charity the trials that the renewal of the church will bring,” the cardinal prayed May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Read more »

Pope Francis Does Not Administer Communion: New Policy Explained

Pope Francis does not distribute Communion when he celebrates Mass in public. Now Sandro Magister of L’Espresso explains this new papal policy.

In 2010, then-Cardinal Bergoglio remarked that some people who come forward to receive Communion “take refuge in the Church and do not live according to the justice that God preaches. And they do not demonstrate repentance.”

The future Pontiff said: "I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo." Read more »

Ratzinger To Return To Vatican On May 1, 2013

Benedict XVI returns to the Vatican. He left the Holy See on 28 February, the last day of his pontificate which ended officially on the evening of that same day, following his resignation.

Unless there is last minute change of plan, the Pope Emeritus is expected to return to the Vatican on 1 May.

The former cloistered monastery where the former Pope will be living, is now ready for him to move in. Read more »

UN Secretary General: Pope Francis Is 'A Voice For the Voiceless'

After yesterday's audience with Pope Francis, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, praised the Holy Father as "a man of peace and purpose."

The Secretary General spoke to a restricted pool of news agencies, which included Vatican Radio, after his audience.

Secretary General Ban said that he told the Holy Father that his choice of choosing his name after St. Francis of Assisi was a "powerful image for the many goals and purposes shared by the United Nations." Read more »

Symbols Adjusted On Papal Coat Of Arms

The papal coat of arms has undergone some major adjustments to more clearly reflect the importance of Mary and St Joseph.

The five-pointed star has been replaced with an eight-pointed star, while the spikenard flower has now been made to look more like a flower rather than a bunch of grapes, as it did in its original form.

The Vatican published the new coat of arms on its website on March 27. Read more »

Francis Asks To Consecrate His Pontificate To Our Lady Of Fatima

Pope Francis has asked the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal José Policarpo, if he can consecrate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.

The cardinal himself confirmed this in his introduction to the 181st general assembly of the Portuguese Bishops' Conference.

At the end of his opening speech, Policarpo said: “Pope Francis asked me twice whether he could consecrate his new ministry to Our Lady of Fatima. It is a mandate I can carry out in prayer and silence. But it would be nice if the whole bishop's conference joined in to fulfil this request. May Mary guide us in our work and in fulfilling Pope Francis' request.” Read more »

Francis And The Rise Of The Religious Orders

Bergoglio is the first Pope to come from a religious Order in over a century and half of Church history.

During the mass for the inauguration of his pontificate, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires called the superiors of two orders (the Franciscans and Jesuits) to co-celebrate with him in St. Peter’s Basilica and even during the consultations that have been taking place in the Holy See, there is a clear emphasis on the religious Orders. Read more »

St. John Lateran: Symbol Of Church's Coexistence With Secular Power

Since his first public remarks of his election March 13, Pope Francis impressed many observers with a marked preference for describing himself not as the pope but as the bishop of Rome -- a role he assumed in a special way April 7 by celebrating his first Mass in the city's cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

While emphasizing his diocesan identity -- which is essentially symbolic, since most of his ordinary episcopal responsibilities are fulfilled by papal vicar for Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini -- Pope Francis has not sought to downplay his role as pastor of the universal church. Read more »

Pope Recites St. Peter's Gospel Professions Of Faith At Apostle's Tomb

Kneeling before the tomb of St. Peter, Pope Francis repeated the three professions of faith the Gospels report the apostle making:

Lord, you are the Christ, the son of the living God;
Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and
Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.

Read more »

Pope Leads Good Friday Liturgy, Begins Rite In Silent Prayer, Adoration

Lying prostrate on the floor before the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion.

The pope presided at the service March 29 to commemorate Christ's death on the cross.

He began the rite after a silent procession down the central nave under dim lighting, which underlined the solemnity of the ceremony. Read more »

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