National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Pope prays that people will care for and listen to grandparents

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Just as fine wine grows stronger with age, grandparents and other elderly Catholics "have the strength to leave us a noble inheritance," Pope Francis said at his early morning Mass.

Celebrating the liturgy Tuesday in the chapel of his residence, Pope Francis once again denounced a cultural tendency "to discard" the elderly "because they are a bother."

Instead, "the elderly are those who transmit history to us, who transmit doctrine, who transmit the faith and give it to us as an inheritance," the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

God may scold, but he never slaps, pope says

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God's hands are never used for violence, Pope Francis said.

"I can't imagine God slapping us," the pope said. "Scolding us, yes, that I see, because he does do that, but he never, ever hurts us."

God shows love and tenderness, "even when he must scold us; he does it with a caress because he is (our) father," the pope said in his homily Nov. 12 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Cardinal Bartolucci, former Sistine Chapel Choir director, dies at 96

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Italian Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, who had devoted most of his priestly life to music and served as director of the Sistine Chapel Choir for more than 40 years, died Monday at the age of 96.

In a telegram of condolence to Bartolucci's family and friends, Pope Francis described him as a "dear and esteemed priest, illustrious composer and musician, who exercised his long ministry particularly through sacred music, which is born of faith and expresses faith."

The pope said Bartolucci valued and promoted polyphony, "aimed at elevating the heart in praise of God."

Bringing home 'dirty money' starves one's family of dignity, pope says

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Despite the perks and high living they may bring, bribery, corruption and dishonest work are serious sins that rob people and their children of their dignity, Pope Francis said.

"Devotees of the goddess of kickbacks" bring home "dirty bread" for their children to eat, the pope said Nov. 8 during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

From New Jersey to the Vatican, opening a dialogue with the Gospel

Mentoring inner-city youths is hardly the most obvious way to prepare for working at the Vatican, but Fr. Geno Sylva says the lessons he learned in a low-income New Jersey community have served him abundantly well in his current job as an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Ordained in 1993, the New Jersey native has long had a passion for spreading the Gospel. He worked as a teacher, chaplain and president at DePaul Catholic High School in the diocese of Paterson, as well as a mentor at Young Prophets, a program for inner-city teenagers there.

God expects a wholehearted RSVP to his invitations, pope says

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Being on God's "guest list" is not enough for salvation; a person must respond to the offer of faith and actively participate in the life of the church, Pope Francis said.

Being a Christian means accepting God's invitation to believe in Jesus and to celebrate with the whole church the joy of being saved, the pope said Tuesday during his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

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