Pope Francis argued on Monday that the 21st century has seen more Christians under siege for their faith than during the time of the early church.
"There are many martyrs today, in the Church, many persecuted Christians," said the pope during a mass in honor of Christian martyrs who were killed under Roman Emperor Nero. "Think of the Middle East where Christians must flee persecution, where Christians are killed. Even those Christians who are forced away in an 'elegant' way, with 'white gloves:' that too is persecution. There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries."
Pope Francis' words come at a time when Iraq's small population of Christians, which trace their roots back to the earliest days of Christianity, have had to flee their homes as militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have taken over the city of Mosul. On Sunday, Nigerian Christians were once again targeted by the Boko Haram, which killed scores of worshippers and burned down four churches in a major attack in Kwada and Kautikari villages. more >>
Pope Francis may visit Texas during his U.S. trip next year, San Antonio's Archbishop suggested in a recent interview.
San Antonio's Archbishop, the Most. Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, was recently discussing the topic of immigration with Fox 29 when the subject of Francis' possible 2015 trip to the states came up. Reports indicate that if Francis does visit the U.S., he may choose to see the steel border fence that separates the U.S. from Mexico in Arizona, just as he visited the security wall that separates Israel from Palestine during his recent trip to the Middle East.
When asked if he would possibly visit Texas, the archbishop told Fox 29: "It could be something that the Pope might consider to contemplate. Why not." more >>
Pope Francis' niece said in a recent interview that she considers herself to be spiritual, not religious, and she believes her uncle will renew the "outdated" Catholic Church.
Francis' niece, Cristina Bergoglio, made her recent comments while promoting her new art show in Miami, Florida. According to Local 10 News, the exhibit that features geometrical figures and landscape paintings will be on display at the Conrad Hotel in Brickell, a neighborhood in Miami. The paintings, being shown in a solo exhibit, are expected to fetch $4,075 to $27,160 each.
When asked by Local 10 News if she affiliates herself with any one religion, Bergoglio said that she considers herself to be spiritual instead of religious, and she believes her uncle will successfully renew an outdated Catholic Church. more >>
Pope Francis told the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at a meeting on Monday that their division is a "scandal and an obstacle to our proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the world," while both Church leaders expressed hopes to move forward in unity.
"We cannot claim that our division is anything less than a scandal and an obstacle to our proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the world," Francis told Welby according to Asia News. The Roman Catholic Church leader added: "The goal of full unity may seem distant indeed, [. . .] it remains the aim which should direct our every step along the way."
Francis added that although they share a "commitment to the great cause of reconciliation and communion between Christian believers," a problem is that "Our vision is often blurred by the cumulative burden of our divisions and our will is not always free of that human ambition which can accompany even our desire to preach the Gospel as the Lord commanded (Matthew 28:19)." more >>
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and pro-gay groups have urged San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone not to attend the pro-traditional marriage "March for Marriage" event on Thursday in Washington, D.C, citing inclusive quotes by Pope Francis. The Vatican leader has repeatedly said, however, that he is not changing the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.
"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, in a letter obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Pelosi, a Catholic, asked Cordileone not to participate in The National Organization for Marriage's "March for Marriage" event, which she claimed some of the participants show "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons." more >>
In an interview with Spanish-language magazine "La Vanguardia," Pope Francis said he is "deeply concerned" about the persecution of Christians today, which is "stronger than in the first centuries of the Church." He also discussed fundamentalism and anti-Semitism.
"The persecuted Christians are a concern that touches me very deeply as a pastor," Francis told the magazine, according to Catholic News Agency.
The people said while he knows a lot about persecution, "it doesn't seem prudent to talk about them here so I don't offend anyone." more >>