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 >>
Pope Francis has spoken out against human traffickers, warning them that they will be held accountable for their crimes. He also pleaded on behalf of the tens of thousands of children around the world forced to work in degrading conditions on the eve of World Day Against Child Labor on Thursday.
"One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God," the pope said about those responsible for human trafficking, slave labor and arms manufacturing during a general audience at the Vatican on Wednesdays, also calling them "merchants of death."
The Roman Catholic Church leader pleaded for the "tens of thousands of children who are forced to work in degrading conditions, exposed to forms of slavery and exploitation, as well as abuse, mistreatment and discrimination." He also called on the international community to "extend social protection for minors in order to weaken this scourge." more >>
Pope Francis has canceled his second day of private appointments and his morning mass, with a Vatican spokesperson citing a "minor indisposition" as the reason for the pope's absence. Francis is expected to return to his regular commitments tomorrow.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for Francis, as the 77-year-old pope recently went on an activity-packed tour of the Middle East, as well as hosted an Invocation for Peace at the Vatican with Israeli and Palestinian presidents this past Sunday. A Vatican spokesperson told the Catholic News Agency that following Sunday's event in the Vatican Gardens, the pope was "very tired."
"He is not sick, and there is nothing serious; but he had a minor indisposition, and because of this, he felt that it was better to give up some commitments yesterday and the celebration of the Mass with the general public this morning in Santa Marta," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Catholic News Agency on Tuesday. more >>
Joel Osteen, bestselling motivational author and evangelical pastor of America's fastest-growing megachurch, was among a small group that included Mormon Sen. Mike Lee, to meet privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome, this week.
Osteen said he was honored to meet with Pope Francis, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
"I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He's not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me," Osteen told the Houston Chronicle. more >>