Pope Benedict's latest appeal to save the planet

Sydney, July 17, 2008 - Pope Benedict on Thursday told a huge gathering of young people that they were inheriting a planet whose resources had been scarred and squandered to fuel insatiable consumption.His latest appeal to save the planet for future generations came in a address to some 150,000 youths in Sydney after he rode through the city's harbour standing on the outdoor deck of a white ferry as dozens of boats blew their horns."Reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth, erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption," he told the cheering crowd.The 81-year-old pope appeared in good form as he started the official part of his trip after three days of rest. He chatted with young people on the ferry and stepped off sprightly to receive a bear hug welcome by an Aboriginal on the dock.He told the young people, som ...Read More


Pope told the crowd of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse

Sydney, July 17, 2008 - Pope Benedict has used his first address at World Youth Day to warn pilgrims of the dangers of sex and violence in the media.More than 100,000 young people packed into the World Youth Day site in Australia's largest city, Sydney, to hear the Pontiff speak.The Pope told the crowd of the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, which he said threatened to corrode the good in people. And he asked why violence and sexual exploitation were so often portrayed on television and the internet."I ask myself could anyone standing face to face with people who actually do suffer violence and sexual exploitation explain that these tragedies portrayed in virtual form are considered merely entertainment," he said.The Pope was welcomed to the event by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers, and a group from the Pacific nation of Tokelau. The Pontiff expressed his delight at attending a festival wi ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI praised the Australian government

Sydney, July 17, 208 - Pope Benedict XVI praised the Australian government Thursday for its "courageous' apology to the country's indigenous Aborigines for past injustices, saying it offered hope to all the world's disadvantaged peoples.The remarks came as the pope began a busy day of public appearances expected to draw half a million people to Sydney's streets and its famous harbor.At an official welcoming ceremony, Benedict said Australia's original inhabitants were an essential part of the country's cultural landscape, and cited their plight since the first British convict settlers arrived 220 years ago."Thanks to the Australian government's courageous decision to acknowledge the injustices committed against the indigenous peoples in the past, concrete steps are now being taken to achieve reconciliation based on mutual respect," Benedict said.It was right to try to raise Aborigines out of poverty and raise their health and ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI warned Catholics of the perils of pop culture

Sydney , July 17, 2008 - Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday warned Catholics of the perils of pop culture and pillaging the earth's resources after a rapturous welcome at the world's biggest Christian festival in Australia.Speaking against the spectacular backdrop of Sydney's famous harbour, the pontiff told hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Australia's biggest and trendiest city that "something is amiss" in modern society."Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises," the pope said after a welcoming ceremony by Aborigines in tribal paint.Benedict told a vast sea of youths from around the world, gathered under a forest of national flags for World Youth Day, that humanity was squandering the earth's resources to satisfy its insatiable appetite for material goods.In one of his strongest-ever messages on the environment , the pope spoke p ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the Pauline Year

Rome, Jun 28, 2008 - During the homily at the first Vespers of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, in which the Pauline Year was inaugurated, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that Saint Paul is still a “teacher, apostle and herald” to the world today, a saint whose experience of Christ’s love freed him to love God in return.At 6 pm Roman time at the Roman Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls -- where the remains of the Apostle have been kept for centuries -- the Holy Father, in the company of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I and representatives of other Christian denominations, arrived in procession to the atrium. In front of the famous marble statue of St. Paul, they lit the candles that will remain burning during the entire Pauline year. The procession continued to the presbytery of the Basilica, where Pope Benedict descended to the Apostle's tomb under the altar.“Who was this Saint Paul?” asked the ...Read More


Holy Father: African leaders and the people should work for peace

Nairobi, June 27, 2008 - African leaders and the people should work for peace founded on accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law, Pope Benedict XVI has urged."Without justice, without fighting all forms of corruption, without respecting the rule of law, true peace is impossible and citizens will clearly find it difficult to put faith in their leaders. Indeed, without respect for the freedom of each individual, it is not possible to speak of peace". The pope said this on Thursday while addressing the new ambassador of Gabon to the Holy See, Firmin Mboutsou, who presented his Letters of Credence. The Holy See and the West African state have enjoyed diplomatic relations for 40 years.The Holy Father invited the "authorities and men and women of good will, especially on the beloved continent of Africa, to commit themselves ever more intensely to building ...Read More


Distributing Communion the old way helps faithful be devout

Vatican City, June 27, 2008— A papal aide says Pope Benedict XVI intends to return to the old way of distributing Communion at Masses. Benedict 's master of liturgical ceremonies said in an interview Wednesday in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that the pontiff will place the Communion host in the mouths of the faithful who kneel before him. That's how Roman Catholics received Communion in the years before the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The reforms made it possible for faithful to take the host in their hands while standing. Benedict gave Communion to kneeling faithful during his trip this month to southern Italy. The aide, Monsignor Guido Marini, says that distributing Communion the old way helps faithful be devout. ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI has named Cardinal Agostino Vallini as the new vicar for the Rome diocese

Vatican City, Jun. 27, 2008 - Pope Benedict XVI has named a new vicar for the Rome diocese, to replace the retiring Cardinal Camillo Ruini. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, will be the new vicar for Rome. His appointment confirms rumors that have circulated in Rome for several weeks. The Italian prelate will be replaced at the Apostolic Signatura by an American prelate, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis. The son of an Italian police officer who was deported during World War II, Cardinal Vallini was ordained a priest of the Naples archdiocese in 1964, and became auxiliary bishop there in 1 ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI : Bishops of other Chinese dioceses would visit Rome

Vatican City, Jun. 27, 2008 - As he met on June 27 with a small group of bishops from Hong Kong and Macao, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his hope that bishops of other Chinese dioceses would soon be free to visit Rome. The Holy Father told the Chinese bishops, who were making the ad limina visits, "I and pray to the Lord that the day will soon come when your brother bishops from mainland China come to Rome on pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, as a sign of communion with the Successor of Peter and the Universal Church." The Chinese government, which has sought for years to establish an independent ...Read More


Pope has approved an offer to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX)

Vatican City, Jun. 27, 2008 - The Italian daily Il Giornale reports that Pope Benedict XVI  has approved an offer to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) that could heal the breach between the Holy See and the traditionalist group. The Vatican’s offer requires a response from the SSPX by June 28, Il Giornale says. The offer was apparently explained by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos , the president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, during a recent meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the SSPX. Rumors of Vatican efforts to regularize the status of the SSPX have persisted for months. Il Giornal ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Raymond Burke to head the Vatican's top canonical court

Vatican, Jun. 27, 2008 - Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Missouri, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Vatican's top canonical court. Archbishop Burke will become the prefect of the supreme tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a judicial body that is roughly the equivalent of the US Supreme Court. He will replace Cardinal Agostino Vallini, who has been named the Pope's vicar for the Rome diocese. Archbishop Burke was installed as head of the St. Louis archdiocese in January 2004. His tenure there has been marked by controversy, with the archbishop-- an acknowledged expert on canon law-- meeting resistance a ...Read More


Prolife, homosexual and atheist activists planning to harass WYD pilgrims

Washington, 26 June 2008 – When Catholic youth around the world converge in Sydney, Australia for World Youth Day they’ll be handed condoms in an attempt to protest the pope’s unwavering opposition to abortion, contraception and homosexuality. The NoToPope Coalition, a group of abortion, homosexual and atheist activists, including Raelians and the Socialist Alliance, will reportedly number between 1,000 and 5,000 protestors. They plan to distribute condoms to pilgrims en route to the Papal Mass at Randwick Racecourse July 20. “It’s getting easier and easier to identify good and evil,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League. “These young pilgrims will be an undeniable visual reminder that young Catholics, committed to living orthodox lives of faith, are the hope of the Church. They are already battling a world determined to undermine their God.” Rachel Evans, organizer of the NoToPope protest said of Benedict XVI: “He’s clearl ...Read More


Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ

Vatican City, June 26,2008 - Rumors that Pope Benedict XVI wears shoes made by high-fashion Italian designer Prada are "of course false," Vatican sources say. Speculation that the Pope wears designer clothes has been flying around since he was elected in 2005, The Times of London reported Thursday.The Pope's brightly colored red shoes and attractive sunglasses have prompted many to deem him a "style icon," the Times said.The rumors were cleared up Thursday in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.Vatican sources said the Pope gets his shoes from Adriano Stefanelli, a cobbler in Novara, Italy.Spanish writer and author, Juan Manuel de Prada, wrote in the article the Pope is a "simple and sober man" and rumors saying otherwise were "stupid and banal.""The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ," he said. UPI ...Read More


Pope exhorted the bishops from Honduras to promote the truth about marriage

Vatican City, Jun 26, 2008 - Thursday morning saw Pope Benedict receive bishops from Honduras as they completed their “ad limina” visit. The Pontiff exhorted the prelates to continue their work to promote the truth about marriage in their country.Recalling that the Honduran people "is characterized by a profound religious spirit which finds expression, among other things, in the numerous and deep-rooted practices of popular devotion,” the Pope noted that this character faces challenges. Most notable among the challenges are “the spread of secularism and the proselytism of sects,” Benedict said. These trials should not lead to discouragement, said the Holy Father. Rather, they should “serve as a stimulus for a bold and far- reaching effort of evangelization, founded - rather than on the effectiveness of material means and human plans - on the power of the Word of God, faithfully accepted, humbly experienced and trustingly announc ...Read More


Seventeen Christians were abducted by armed militants in Pakistan

Islamabad: Seventeen Christians were abducted by armed militants in northwest Pakistan on Saturday and held them briefly before being freed unharmed early today in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, police said. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani strongly condemned the kidnapping of members of the minority community and assured the National Assembly that a thorough investigation will be conducted to bring those responsible to justice. Police said militants stormed a house in Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and held the Christians who were part of a group that had gathered last night for a prayer service. The unidentified militants, who came in about 10 vehicles, assaulted members of the gathering before taking away 17 of them to the tribal Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan. No group has claimed ...Read More


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