National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican City

Study day on synod did not aim to change doctrine, spokesman says

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The presidents of the bishops' conferences of Germany, France and Switzerland decided their preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family could benefit from listening to theologians, biblical scholars and canon lawyers from all three countries, said the spokesman for the German bishops.

"It was a real fruitful discussion and very broad and that was important; it was not just about the hot topics" of divorce and homosexuality, Matthias Kopp, the spokesman, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.

Vatican bank posts large profit, continues review of account holders

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The Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, showed a large jump in profits in 2014 as it continued to winnow its accounts.

The institute reported a net profit of 69.3 million euros ($75.5 million) in 2014 compared to a 2013 net profit of 2.9 million euros.

The bulk of the profit, 55 million euros, was given to the Holy See for its operating costs.

TV and Internet? Meh. What Pope Francis really misses are pizza outings

Pope Francis told an Argentine newspaper that he never watches TV or logs on to the Internet and, perhaps not surprisingly, sleeps well.

Speaking to the newspaper La Voz Del Pueblo, the pope reflected on the little over two years since he was thrust into the global limelight.

He said the swift transition from being archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics was somewhat of a shock.

Pope to Franciscans: Stay true to charism, keep people's respect

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Pope Francis urged Franciscan friars to hold true to their charism of fraternity, humility and poverty and not lose the respect they have earned over the centuries for living up to those ideals.

The more one feels small before God and in need of his mercy, "the closer we are to salvation; the more we are convinced of being sinners, the more we are willing to be saved," he said in an audience Tuesday with 200 Franciscan leaders.

Pope Francis urges prayers for China, persecuted Christians over Pentecost

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Pope Francis asked Catholics worldwide to show solidarity through their prayers for Catholics in China and for persecuted Christians over the Pentecost weekend.

The World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is observed each year on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, May 24, which this year falls on Pentecost.

Catholics in China invoke Mary, venerated at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai, each May 24, the pope noted.

Pope Francis says parents must not exclude themselves from children's lives

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Parents must not exclude themselves from their children's lives and, despite what some "experts" may say, they must take an active role in their children's education, said Pope Francis during his general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

"It's time for fathers and mothers to come out of their exile -- because they have exiled themselves from their children's education -- and to fully assume again their educational role," he said.

Mother Teresa's canonization in 2016 only hypothetical, says Vatican

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Despite reports in the Italian press that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata's canonization has been set for Sept. 4, 2016, a Vatican spokesman says the date is only hypothetical and cannot be confirmed.

Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi issued a statement Tuesday in response to media reports that the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, who worked among the poorest of the poor, would be canonized before the end of the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy.

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

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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

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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.

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