Pope at Christmas Party:Encountering Jesus and sharing His Gospel is the answer to the World’s problems

Vatican City, Dec.23,2007 (CINS/CNA).- Every year the Pope holds a “Christmas party” of sorts with the various offices that help him run the Catholic Church around the world. This year, Pope Benedict took the opportunity to share his reflections on important events from the past year including how encountering Jesus and sharing His Gospel is the answer to the world’s problems.The Holy Father used his visit to Brazil where he opened the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), as a springboard for talking about how the Church should engage the modern world.Pope Benedict XVI recalled the theme of the conference, "Disciples and missionaries in Jesus Christ, that in Him our peoples may have life," and then mentioned some possible objections to this choice of su ...Read More


A Man of Good Repute

by Fr.Timothy Radcliffe O.P.23 December 2007Fourth Sunday of Advent (A)Readings:Isaiah 7:10-14Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, "Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven." But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test." And he said, "Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el. Romans 1:1-7 ...Read More


Card. Zen celebrates a thanksgiving mass on 75th anniversary of Fr. Quirino De Ascaniis's ordination

Hong Kong, Dec.23,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – At the age of 99,  the deacon of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, Fr. Quirino De Ascaniis, celebrated this December together with the Church in Hong Kong the 75th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  During his mission he witnessed first hand, events which gave birth to modern China.The anniversary was celebrated by Hong Kong’s bishop, card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, and auxiliary Msgr. John Tong, with a thanksgiving mass and reception at the local Caritas: together with him another 38 religious.Fr. De Ascaniis was born in Giulianova, in the province of Teramo, on August 5th 1908.  In 1929, he entered PIME, three years later he was ordained a priest: he left for the diocese of Hong Kong on September 8th 1933, on a tall ship of three masts, called Con ...Read More


Today in Church History

1046 Synod of Sutri: German king Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI1046 Benedict us IX and Silvester III and names Bishop Siutger, Pope Clemens II1448 Pope Nicolaas V named Utrechts bishop Rudolf of Diepholt, cardinal 1926 Pope Pius XI convicts fascist pursuit in Italy1935 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii1975 Pope Paul VI named J Willebrands archbishop of Utrecht  ...Read More


Food for Thought: Saint

Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited.- Ambrose Bierce quotes  ...Read More


Pope meets youths from Italian Catholic Action

Vatican City, Dec.20,2007 (CINS/VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received a group of young people from Italian Catholic Action (ACI), for a traditional exchange of Christmas good wishes. The Pope greeted Luigi Alici, national president of ACI, and Bishop Domenico Sigalini of Palestrina, Italy, recently appointed as the group's general ecclesiastical assistant, then began his remarks by mentioning the Italian child Antonia Meo, whose heroic virtues were promulgated recently by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Antonia, known as Nennolina, died of bone cancer in 1937 shortly before her seventh birthday. The Holy Father recalled how during her brief life she "showed special faith, hope and charity" and, presenting her as a model for the young people of ACI (of which she was a member), he affirmed that "her existence, so simple and yet so important, shows that s ...Read More


Pope receives French President Nicholas Sarkozy

Vatican City, Dec.20,2007 (CINS/VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Nicolas Sarkozy, president of the French Republic. "The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "The cordial discussions provided an opportunity to examine a number of questions of mutual interest concerning the current situation of France. Mention was made of the good relations that exist between the Catholic Church and the French Republic, and of the role of religions, especially the Catholic Church, in the world. "Particular attention was given to the international situation with reference to the future of Europe, the conflicts in the Middle East ...Read More


Even among the ill and dying Christmas brings new hope

Kolkata, India, Dec.20,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – They will spend Christmas with Aids sufferers, the missionaries of Mother Teresa from Shanti Bavan, the house of peace. "Here - Fr. Yesudas, former superior of the Missionaries of Charity tells AsiaNews Here we are 5 Brothers are 30 inmates all in their thirties, according to the standards of the world, these men are too young to die, these men are too young to die and for us Missionaries of Charity,   working with these young men, we have to give them hope. I am surrounded by many people gazing at me within and around Shanti Bhavan. There is Mitu Sahoo died at the age of 12 with AIDS related illnesses, holding my hand and looking at me with brokenness, “what did I do that I have to go through this torment?” For him, life brought only pain, frustration, suffering and a sense of time dragging”. But Fr.Yesudas, in Shanti Bhavan (Kolkata), maintains that even among the il ...Read More


Father Lombardi: Dialogue of Vatican with Muslims disappoints fundamentalists

Vatican City, Dec 19,2007 (CINS/CNA).- The Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said Monday the dialogue with the Muslim world desired by Pope Benedict XVI “worries only those who do not want it.”Father Lombardi was asked about the comments broadcast on the internet by Egyptian Ayman al Zawahiri, considered the number two leader in Al Qaeda. In an extensive interview, Zawahiri criticized the historic visit of King Abdullah to the Vatican, saying he “has offended Islam and Muslims.”The Vatican spokesman said the Pope’s dialogue “with important Muslim leaders, such as the King of Saudi Arabia or the 138 Islamic leaders with whom he has exchanged letters, are a significant matter for the entire Muslim world.”“The fact o ...Read More


L'Osservatore Romano: Golden Compass a Gnostic, hopeless, anti-Christmas film

Vatican City, Dec. 20, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- The daily edition of the official Vatican newspaper has come out with a harsh criticism of the movie "The Golden Compass, describing it as a hopeless story based on the ideology of the 70's.In a long editorial article, Andrea Monda, a well known literary and movie critic who writes for several Italian newspapers, says "the Golden Compass of Chris Weisz, is as much of an anti-Christmas film as it can be." The news that during its opening weekend, the Golden Compass made far less than what New Line expected, “can be consoling,” wrote Monda. In fact, the movie critic thinks that the sales were so bad that it will probably block immediate production of the second book of Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'.After describing the quest of the movie’s heroine, Lyra, to liberate other children imprisoned by the "Magisterium," L'Osservatore Romano writes: "outside the metaphor of Pullman, it would be ...Read More


Today in Church History

401 St. Anastasius I ends his reign as Catholic Pope ...Read More


Food for Thought: Saints out of Sinners

“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.”- Soren Kierkegaard  ...Read More


Pope at General Audience: What sense does it make to celebrate Christmas without recognizing that God was made man?

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- As Christmas draws nearer, Pope Benedict departed from his tradition of reflecting on an Early Church Father on Wednesdays so that he could point to the impact of Jesus’ birth upon the world.That God’s son became a man means that mankind is able to become truly human, that this message of salvation must be shared and that peace will come to the world, Pope Benedict XVI explained.Christmas and Justice"If, on the one hand, Christmas is a commemoration of the incredible prodigy of the birth of the only-begotten Son of God from the Virgin Mary in the grotto of Bethlehem," said the Pope, "on the other, it also exhorts us to wait, vigilant and prayerful, for our own Redeemer, Who on the last day 'will come to judge the living and the dead'."Looking at the state of the world today, the Pope departed from h ...Read More


Tribals Catholics getting ready to celebrate Christmas together.

Bangkok,Thailand, Dec.19, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – Christmas “is a spiritual, not a commercial event. We must prepare ourselves in the best possible way to welcome Christ in our hearts. For this reason, let us add to the traditional celebrations a special programme for ethnic minorities which are 90 per cent Catholic,” said Sister Supin Sirisawang, an ethnic Karen nun who talked AsiaNews about Christmas preparations in Thailand’s Mae Hongsorn province.Masses during the Christmas season “are conducted in Thai and local languages. Most local Catholics are in fact ethnic Karen, Hmong, Akha or other groups. Each group has prepared its own cultural performance which will be presented in local school yards on Christmas Eve, both as a form of entertainment and as a path of inculturation.” ...Read More


Chinese Catholics anticipate a joyful Christmas with religious freedom

Beijing, China, Dec.19, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – For many underground Catholics there will be no Christmas mass: there bishops are under house arrest, as are many priests.  As a result the only way they have of celebrating the Jesus’ birth is to gather together and listen to the mass transmitted by Vatican Radio.  The lack of priests, (and of freedom) in many areas in China, forces many to travel up to 50 km to attend midnight mass.Chinese Catholics divide themselves into 3 categories according to the different levels of devotion: those who pray every day; those who go to mass every Sunday; those who attend mass during the 4 principal feasts of the year, Easter, Pentecost, the Assumption and Christmas.  But above all Christmas sees the greatest participation.  Catholics from the Official and Underground Church prepare themselves during Advent with special prayer groups, confessions and novena’s, and by p ...Read More


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