Pope Francis plans to make his first visit to the United States next September, and his itinerary will include traveling to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families congress. The discussion topics for the meeting are set to focus on contentious issues such as premarital sex, homosexuality, infertility and celibacy, according to the congress' meeting notes.
"I would like to confirm that, God willing, in September 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families," the pope said during his opening speech at the interreligious conference on traditional marriage at the Vatican.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told Catholic News Service that he was surprised at the early announcement. "You know usually they don't make these announcements. Four months out is the typical and here we are 10 months away, and the Holy Father said he is coming to Philadelphia," Chaput said. more >>
Those on Gov. Mike Huckabee's Journey first arrived in Kraków, Poland, home of Pope John Paul II, to learn how its most influential agent for political change during pre and post Nazi and Communist occupied Poland, was its religious leader. To the Polish people, their Pope, Karol Józef Woityla, is the most significant man in modern history that led them to freedom after suffering generations of oppression.
Wojtyla, the former archbishop of Kraków, lived through both eras of occupation and witnessed and identified with his people's suffering and despair. Today, he is known among the generations of young people as the one who made it possible for them to be born in "free Poland," where they can watch movies, text on smartphones, or choose their education or profession. They learned from their parents who were among more than 800,000, who in 1990 went to Kraków's local theatre to watch Gone with the Wind, a film none had been allowed to view. To this new generation, the Pope represents the spirit of freedom and opposition to evil of their "free Poland."
To understand the Polish, one must know two things. First, from the mid to late 1700s to the 1950s— Poland was occupied by one invader after another. It had lost one third of its population every thirty years from conflict. Second, its people's identity is and has been for centuries, deeply rooted in and inter-connected to their Christian faith. more >>
For purposes of this article, I set aside my Ph.D. degree: I am speaking strictly on the authority of my MOM degree.
Ok, everyone. I realize I have been out of the loop for a while. I have been trying to finish a book. And I had an unexpected family emergency to deal with.
But Mom's home now. Time to shape up. more >>
The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis will set up a panel to help process the "backlog" of appeals from priests who've been accused of committing sexual abuse against minors. The new judicial body, or college, will be overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Hearing the appeals is a very important job, especially those on abuse of minors, and the backlog of cases is at risk of absorbing all the time of the congregation," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told The Tablet, a Catholic news weekly.
"[The accused] shall have his case examined by the whole body of members of the congregation, the ordinary session, which may also examine other specific cases upon papal request, and/or examine cases referred to it by the newly created college," he added. more >>
Pope Francis has removed conservative U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, who was the Vatican's highest ranking American, as head of its highest court. The move could be seen as reflecting the changing stand of the Catholic Church on some key social issues.
The Vatican announced Saturday that Cardinal Burke, formerly prefect of the Apostolic Signature, will now serve as cardinal patron of the Knights and Dames of Malta, according to Catholic News Service.
The 66-year-old cardinal and the former archbishop of St. Louis has been known as an advocate for denying communion to Catholic politicians who back abortion. Burke has also openly criticized the pope for his accommodation approach to the faith. more >>
Satanism is on the rise, according to the International Association of Exorcists, whose members recently convened with Pope Francis to receive a blessing at the Vatican.
The group, which consists of around 300 members, gathered in Rome last week to discuss the impact of the occult and Satanism with the Pope, who is adamant about the fight against Satan in his sermons. The Pope took time to commend the group for helping those who are suffering from the "devil's works."
Valter Cascioli, a spokesman for the organization, warned of an "extraordinary increase in demonic activity" during a segment on Vatican radio. He also claims that people are turning to dark practices that are damaging psychologically, spiritually and morally at an alarming rate. more >>