Pope Benedict XVI released a message to the United States

Vatican City, Apr. 12, 2008 (vaticans.org) - Pope Benedict XVI has released a message to the people of the United States, in preparation for his trip to America next week. In his message the Holy Father says that he is coming to the US to proclaim that "Jesus Christ is hope for men and women of every language, race, culture, and social condition." The Pontiff also confirms that in his address to the UN he will emphasize the importance of natural law, "the law written on the human heart." The papal message, released by the Vatican press office on April 8, came in the form of a video. The message was released one week before the Pope is scheduled to arrive in the US. The Pope spoke mostly in English, with a brief portion in Spanish. The full text of the Pope's message follows: Dear Brothers and Sisters in the United States of America,The grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you ...Read More

500 Christians protest over the torture of a Christian girl

Lahore, Pakistan, mar.30, 2008 (vaticans.org) - At least 500 Christians protested this friday in Lahore against the police who arrested, tortured, and falsely accused of theft a 16-year-old Christian girl, Farzana.  The protesters, holding wooden crosses, tried to reach the office of the superintendent of police, but officers confronted and clubbed them, and arrested eight protesters, jailing them for two hours, according to a press release sent to AsiaNews from Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan. The deputy superintendent of female police, Asmi Khan, has assured the officials of the SLMP that Farzana will be tried fairly and will be released if found not guilty. Farzana worked as a maid for three months at the house of some Muslims, for 500 rupees (8 dollars) per mon ...Read More

The Lord Added To Their Number

by Fr.Michael Platts O.P.30 March 2008Second Sunday of Easter (Low Sunday) (A)Readings:Acts 2:42-47And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking brea ...Read More

Thousands of faithful gather to reflect on God's compassion in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Mar.30, 2008 (vaticans.org) - More than 7 thousand Catholics gathered at the pastoral centre of the archdiocese of the former Saigon, for two prayer vigils on the message "God is rich in compassion". Present at the vigils was Peter Tran Dinh Tu, bishop of Phu Cuong and president of the bishops' commission for divine worship.The participants included many young Catholics from various dioceses in the country, who are in Ho Chi Minh City for school or work. Thanh, who comes from the diocese of Thanh Hoa, tells AsiaNews: "Coming here is like being with a second family, and is an opportunity for my spiritual life: I went to confession and received communion during Holy Week".Cuong, a young man from the parish of Binh An, a ...Read More

Born-again Christian Killed in Philippines

Manila, Philippines, Mar.27, 2008 (vaticans.org) – A Pentecostal pastor was killed inside a church in Massin town in Iloilo province, southern Philippines, on the night of 18 March, according to police reports. No clear motive has been given.Armando Corio, a born-again Christian, died in hospital from wounds to the head and the chest. Eyewitnesses said that the murder could have been committed by Rizalde Cordero who was seen fleeing the church with a knife in the night of 18 March. Police are still looking for him.The situation for men and women religious in southern Philippines remains critical. Both Catholics and Protestant are increasingly targeted by extremists and common bandits wh ...Read More

Pope recalls the world day of prayer and fasting for missionary martyrs

Rome,Italy, Mar.25, 2008 (vaticans.org) - In the light of the Resurrection of Christ, "special value is accorded to commemoration and prayer for the missionary martyrs who died in 2007, while they were carrying out their missionary service. This is a duty of gratitude for the entire Church, and an encouragement for each of us". These were some of Benedict XVI's words following the recitation of the Regina Caeli, on the occasion of the annual day of prayer and fasting for missionary martyrs.  This commemoration is observed today, on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador.  This day, which is usually dedicated to prayer and fasting, falls on the first day after Easter.  The pope cheerfully suggested, given the festive atmosphere, not to fast, but to pray: "To remember ...Read More

Urbi et Orbi message of Pope: May Easter joy heal the wounds of humanity today

Vatican City, Mar.24, 2008 (vaticans.org) - Darfur and Somalia, the "afflicted Middle East", the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon and Tibet, these are the "wounds of humanity" today to which Benedict XVI made direct reference in his message "Urbi et Orbi" (to Rome and to the world) pronounced from the balcony of the basilica of Saint Peter, at the end of the Easter Mass.  But, next to these regions for which, he said, "I encourage to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good", the pope's thoughts were extended to all men, all families, all peoples.  "Dear Christian brothers and sisters in every part of the world, dear men and women whose spirit is sincerely open to the truth", he said, "let no heart be closed to the omnipotence of this redeeming love! Jesus Christ died and rose for all; he is our hope – true hope for every human being". ...Read More

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'Come With Me, And I Will Show You'

by Fr.John D. O'Connor O.P.23 March 2008Easter SundayReadings:Acts 10:34,37-43And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil , for God was with him. And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised h ...Read More

The Promise of Eternal Friendship

by Fr.Richard Conrad O.P.21 March 2008Good FridayReadings:Isaiah 52:13-53:12Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. As many were astonished at him-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men-- so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up bef ...Read More

Loving to the End

by Fr.Austin Milner O.P.20 March 2008Holy ThursdayReadings:Exodus 12:1-8,11-14The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month they shall take every man a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household; and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of person ...Read More

U.K Catholic politicians win opt-out on embryo legislation

London, U.K, Mar.19, 2008 (vaticans.org) - In a rare move, Catholic politicians in Britain’s Labour government have been allowed to opt out of government legislation that goes against the faith. The decision was made after three Catholic members of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet made it known they opposed legislation that would allow the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos, and loosen restrictions on in-vitro fertilization treatments for single women and homosexual couples. The news was welcomed by England’s Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. ...Read More

Vatican to open the first Catholic Church in Saudi Arabia

Rome, Italy, Mar.19, 2008 (vaticans.org) - The Vatican is in negotiations with Saudi Arabia to open the first Catholic Church in the country in modern times, the Telegraph reports.Archbishop Mounged El-Hachem, the papal envoy to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates, said that talks had started a few weeks ago after King Abdullah’s November visit with Pope Benedict XVI.Archbishop El-Hachem said a church in Saudi Arabia would be an important sign of “reciprocity” between the two faiths.At present all Saudi citizens are required by law to be Muslim.  The Mutawe ...Read More

Pope offers Mass for soul of Iraqi Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho

Vatican City, Mar 18, 2008 (vaticans.org) - On Monday morning the Holy Father presided at a Mass for the soul of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of the Chaldeans, who died in tragic circumstances following his kidnapping on February 29.  The Pontiff described the archbishop as taking up his cross to follow Christ.  The Pope spoke of his closeness to the members of the "beloved Church which suffers, believes and prays in Iraq" and expressed the hope that "in the faith they may find the strength not to lose heart in the difficult situation they are experiencing." The Holy Father also tied in today's Gospel rea ...Read More

Pope Benedict XVI cries: Enough violence, enough hatred in Iraq!

Vatican City, Mar.17, 2008 (vaticans.org).- At the end of the solemn celebration, Pope Benedict XVI expressed again his deep sorrow over the death of Archbishop of Mosul for Chaldeans, Monsignor Paulos Faraj Rahho, who tragically disappeared on February 29 and was found buried in a shallow grave outside of Mosul last week. The Pope said the Archbishop's life is "a beautiful witness of fidelity to Christ, the Church and its people" and that despite numerous threats, the Archbishop remained with them. Pope Benedict said these events prompted him to "raise a strong and heartfelt cry: enough with massacres, enough violence, enough hatred in Iraq! With strong words of encourag ...Read More

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