National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Pope Francis urges reflection on 'final farewell' from earthly life


Everyone would do well to reflect on their "final farewell" from earthly life and on whether they are prepared to entrust themselves and all they will leave behind to God, said Pope Francis.

During a morning Mass Tuesday at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope reflected on the day's readings in which Jesus, after speaking to his disciples of his imminent departure for the Father, prays "the hour has come" (John 17:1-11a), and in which St. Paul gathers with the elders of Ephesus before leaving for Jerusalem (Acts 20:17-27).

Church needs women's voices, input, experiences, pope tells religious


Women can be appointed heads of some offices of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said, but that will not be enough to "recover the role" women should have in the Catholic church.

"Women should be promoted," he said Saturday during an audience with an international group of men and women religious working in the diocese of Rome. But assigning a certain number of women to leadership positions is "simply functionalism," he said.

What is important is to ensure that women have a voice and are listened to, he said, because the church needs their specific contributions.

New Palestinian saints promoted women, encouraged peace, priest says


The two new Palestinian saints were instrumental in the promotion of women in the Arab world and in efforts for interreligious dialogue toward peace, said Jordanian Fr. Rifat Bader.

Pope Francis was to canonize Blessed Marie-Alphonsine and Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified along with a French nun and an Italian nun by during a Mass in St. Peter's Square this Sunday.

Two days ahead of the Mass, larger-than-life-sized tapestries of each of the soon-to-be saints already decorated the facade of St. Peter's Basilica.

Periphery pope: Bosnia trip aims to build bridges in divided nation


Pope Francis' concern for those suffering on the margins and for small Catholic communities that have kept the faith alive through war or repression will take him to Bosnia-Herzegovina in early June.

By making a one-day trip June 6 to Sarajevo, he said he hoped he could "be an encouragement for the Catholic faithful, give rise to the development of the good and contribute to strengthening fraternity, peace, interreligious dialogue and friendship."

In family relations, good manners are no joke, pope says at audience


The closer two people are to each other, the more care is required in respecting the other's freedom and feelings, Pope Francis said.

Even Jesus knocks at the door of a person's heart awaiting permission to enter, he said Wednesday at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

"Intimacy does not authorize you to take everything for granted," he said, starting a series of audience talks he said would look at the "real life" of families today.

Pope Francis: God will judge people on care for the poor, for the planet


The powerful of the earth will face God's judgment and will be asked to account for how they cared for the poor and how they cared for the environment so that it could produce food for all, Pope Francis said.

"The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone," Pope Francis said Tuesday during his homily at a Mass opening the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis.

Caritas panel reflects on liberation theology, love, charity, ecology


Dominican Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, the 86-year-old liberation theologian, said his work is "a love letter to God, to the church and to my people."

Asked if he would change anything he has written in the past 40 years, the Peruvian who is often referred to as "the father of liberation theology," said no one would write their beloved the same love letter after 40 years, "but it is the same love."

Work together to promote, defend life, pope says on Mother's Day


People must work together to protect life, Pope Francis said on Mother's Day, the day Italy celebrates its annual March For Life.

After praying the "Regina Coeli" at noon Sunday with people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the pope greeted all those who took part in the pro-life initiative that morning, saying "it is important to work together to defend and promote life."

Raul Castro says Pope Francis is so impressive, he might start praying again


After spending close to an hour with Pope Francis, Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters he is so impressed by what the pope does and says that he might start praying and could even return to the church.

"I had a very agreeable meeting this morning with Pope Francis. He is a Jesuit, as you well know. I am, too, in a certain sense because I was always in Jesuit schools," Castro told reporters Sunday.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.