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Pope Francis said world peace requires the defence of human dignity from violations such as world hunger, human trafficking and abortion. The pope made his remarks Jan. 13 in his first annual address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, offering a survey of world conflicts and crises he said were caused by “envy, selfishness, rivalry and the thirst for power and money.”
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A heart hardened by anger and resentment is worse than eating humble pie and reaching out to enemies to seek peace, Pope Francis said. “Worse than trying to build a bridge (of understanding) with an adversary is to let the heart swell with rancor toward him,” he said Jan. 24 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
A vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life or marriage is a call to centre one’s life on Christ and build up his kingdom, Pope Francis said. “The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity, the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace,” the pope said in his message for the 2014 World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
As world leaders gathered in the hopes of finding a peaceful solution to Syria’s three-year-long brutal conflict, Pope Francis asked that they spare no effort in bringing an end to the violence.
Like the good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travelers along today’s communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said. “The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said in his message for World Communications Day.
Christians facing difficulties and discrimination, especially in the Middle East, can learn a valuable lesson from Japanese Christians who survived by clandestinely baptizing, praying and hiding during 250 years of harsh persecution, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis assured mothers that breastfeeding their babies in public, even during a papal Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is OK. No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12.
The wide spectrum of environmental concerns issue "a haunting, compelling cry . . . arising in our times from every corner of the earth," says Calgary Bishop Fred Henry. Environmental pollution, socio-economic problems caused by the loss of deforestation and soil erosion, and a host of issues linked to climate change, including catastrophic weather events, are all powerful examples of that cry, Henry said at a gathering of interfaith leaders Jan. 22.
A mosaic, inspired by the book of Revelation and giving glory to Christ's Eucharistic presence, has recently taken its place behind the tabernacle at St. Joseph's Basilica. Designed and built by a religious artist in New Zealand, the mosaic, which cost $80,000 in total, shows the Lamb standing triumphantly holding the cross.
QUEBEC – Quebec's euthanasia Bill 52 will come to a vote in February, and the province's bishops say it "goes against the most basic human values and contradicts the very purpose of medicine."