pope francis

Last week the universal church celebrated the feast of the radical Italian merchant’s son, Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, who abandoned a life of luxury to give his life to God and became known as Francis of Assisi.  Pope Francis has called on people of good-will to have a similar conversion away from consumerism and to become defenders of creation. On the feast of St. Francis a group of similarly minded people gathered at a controversial ‘fracking’ site outside Preston, Lancashire, to...
Pope Francis has challenged Europe and especially European Catholics not to go down the route of ‘exclusivism and cultural fortification’ when challenged with the task of welcoming refugees.  Speaking at a meeting with the directors of migrant and refugee services from the bishops’ conferences of Europe, Francis was particularly sad when he saw these negative reactions in Catholic communities. “I will not hide my concern about the signs of intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia that...
Pope Francis meets Dr Phillip Alton
An alumnus of Stonyhurst College, Dr Philip Alton, recently presented Pope Francis with the plans for an exciting new project being developed at Stonyhurst.  Philip had been attending an International Catholic Legislators Network 2017 Conference at the end of August. Giving the pope details of Theodore House and the Stonyhurst Christian Heritage Centre, Philip told him that "Stonyhurst is the world's oldest Jesuit school - 400 years old " - to which the Pope mischievously replied, with a...
Pope is gifted with knitted jumper
In the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides you will encounter an organic and vibrant church.  Surrounded by a stark beauty and tested by uncompromising weather, the islanders are very close to nature, aware of its power and beauty.  Crofters and Fisherfolk spent the long winter nights by their peat fires mending their nets, knitting their jumpers and telling stories, with a bottle of whisky and a set of rosary beads near at hand.  The famous Eriskay jumpers, a seamless piece of...
The pope in Cartagena, Credit L'Osservatore Romano
Saturday was the memorial of the 17th century Jesuit missionary St Peter Claver and it was marked in a very special way this year as Pope Francis rounded off his visit to Colombia by praying at his tomb in the port town of Cartagena. Cartagena was a major slave port in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Peter Claver, the self-described 'slave of the slaves forever,' worked daily to minister to the needs of the 10,000 slaves who arrived each year.  He would board slave...
Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Rubens Credit Wikimedia
‘DOGMA’ has become a ‘boo-word’. Rather than its original Christian definition ‘a tenet of Christian faith’ or ‘the authoritative teaching of the Church’ the Oxford dictionary now includes the meaning ‘an arrogant declaration of opinion.’ The negative definition may have evolved through widespread criticisms of the way the Catholic Church has historically enforced its teachings, especially via the CDF (the Congregation of the Faith), formerly called the Holy Office. This Congregation has until...
Pope Francis
Pope Francis visited his brother Jesuits at their General Curia house in Rome, to mark Monday’s feast of St Ignatius.The Jesuit Pope was welcomed by, Fr Arturo Sosa, the Father General of the Jesuits.During the day, Pope Francis posted a tweet to his 35 million followers, honouring St Ignatius of Loyola saying: “Like Saint Ignatius of Loyola, let us be won over by the Lord Jesus and, led by Him, place ourselves at the service of others.”Pope Francis has visited the Jesuits on the feast of St...
A rifle, from unsplash by Thomas Tucker
The Monthly Intentions of the Holy Father are our way of sharing his concerns and taking these into our own hearts and prayer. Sometimes these concerns can be uncomfortable, even challenging. That is because they must be about real-life issues and these can often be complex and awkward. Our Christian faith is no better than superstition if we restrict it to safe topics or only with a restricted range of concerns, deemed appropriate. This month’s First Intention of the Holy Father is one such –...
Pope Francis and President Trump at the Vatican
Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump had a half hour private meeting in the Apostolic Palace this morning, speaking through interpreters.The Vatican press office statement said “During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience. It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the...
Pope Francis & Fr Nicolas at the Gesu in Rome
Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, the former Superior General of the Jesuits, has written down his reminiscences of his conversations with Pope Francis after his election to the papacy.  Austen Ivereigh offers some insights and observations – first published on Cruxnow.comFr Nicolás, who was until earlier this year Superior General of the Jesuits has written a series of reminiscences about his conversations with Pope Francis, published in the Spanish Jesuit publication Mensajero.He wrote them during a...

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