The number of baptized Catholics worldwide has grown at a faster rate than the world's population, according to Vatican statistics. The figures are presented in the "Annuario Pontificio 2016."
The Peace Pulpit: "Those are the roles that we are to carry out then in following Jesus."
NCR Today: Year of Mercy; COP21 climate talks; Russians joining ISIS; the importance of investigative journalism; Donald Trump and American Muslims; nun's trophy deer
The Peace Pulpit: Be plunged once more into that death of Jesus so that we will rise to new life, and then be inspired to go out and transform the world.
Most of us probably traveled “home” at some point during the holidays. Why? Because there is no place like home.
But if your family is like many today, you can have one son with three family units to visit, another son with four, a 90-year-old mother who lives half the year with one of your siblings and the other half with another, and more. Divorce and distance are common guests at the holiday table.
Catholic leaders have avoided blocking gay couples from having their children baptized, but a move by a Wisconsin bishop could force church leaders to establish clearer rules.
Some 650 catechumens from 32 parishes attended a special ceremony led by Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese at the pastoral center on March 30. Over 350 people among them are expected to receive the sacraments of Christian initiation to become Catholics on this year’s Easter Vigil, April 19.
Some of them shared their faith experiences with NCR.
Pope Francis assured mothers that breast-feeding their babies in public, even during a papal Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is OK.
No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies Sunday, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
"Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry," he said during his brief and unscripted homily.
"If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here they are the main focus," he said.
With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.