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The Nearly Impossible Question

The Nearly Impossible Question

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Be proud of your uniform, committed to peace, pope tells military

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Entrusting to God's mercy all of their comrades-in-arms who have died serving their countries and defending peace, Pope Francis urged Catholic members of the military to let their faith inform their service."The world needs you, especially at this dark moment in our history. We need men and women of faith capable of putting weapons at the service of peace and brotherhood," said the papal message to thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and cadets making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.The annual International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes, held May 24-26 this year, involves some 15,000 current, retired and wounded members of the military from 40 nations -- including members of the Vatican's Swiss Guard. They are joined by military chaplains and bishops who head their nations' military ordinariates, including Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, president of the U.S. Conference of...

Youth Ministry Congress emphasizes need to listen to young people

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As young delegates and the coordinators of youth and young adult ministry from the world's bishops' conferences gathered near Rome, an archbishop asked them: "How can we be a church that young people come back to, not a church they leave? How can our young people find hope and courage in the church and transform their lives?"The questions were posed by Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul, South Korea, host of World Youth Day 2027, during the Vatican-sponsored International Youth Ministry Congress May 23 in Ciampino, just south of Rome.The Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life convoked the three-day congress to consider answers to the archbishop's questions as they marked the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' exhortation to young people, "Christus Vivit," reviewed World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, and looked forward to the Holy Year 2025 jubilee of young adults and, more remotely, to WYD in Seoul.The theme for the gathering was "Synodal Youth ...

Pope recognizes miracle needed for church's first 'millennial' saint

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager whose birth in 1991 will make him the first "millennial" to become a saint.In a meeting May 23 with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for Saints' Causes, the pope signed decrees advancing the sainthood causes of Blessed Acutis, as well as one woman, and six men.The Vatican announced May 23 that the pope had signed the decrees and that he would convene a consistory to set a date for the canonization of Acutis and other future saints: Blesseds Giuseppe Allamano; Marie-Léonie Paradis of Québec, Canada; Elena Guerra; and eight Franciscan friars and three Maronite laymen who were martyred in Damascus, Syria, in 1860.Blessed Acutis was born and baptized in London to Italian parents in 1991, but the family moved back to Milan, Italy, while he was still an infant.  Italian Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died of leukemia in 200...

Humility is the 'gateway to all virtues,' pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Though not found on the classical list of cardinal or theological virtues, humility lies "at the base of Christian life," Pope Francis said."Whereas pride and arrogance swell the human heart, making us appear to be more than we are, humility restores everything to its correct dimension," he said. Human beings are "are wonderful creatures, but we are limited, with qualities and flaws."During his general audience in St. Peter's Square May 22, the pope ended his series of talks on vices and virtues by discussing humility, which he said is "the gateway to all virtues."In the beatitudes, Jesus praised the "poor in spirit" and said "theirs is the kingdom of heaven," he said. "It is the first beatitude,"because it underlies those that follow it: meekness, mercy (and) purity of heart arise from that inner sense of littleness.""Blessed are the people who guard this sense of their own littleness in their hearts," he said. "These people are shielded from an ugly vice: arr...

Pope says faith in China has been safeguarded by God

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Lord has safeguarded the faith of the people of God in China, Pope Francis said."And the faith of God's people has been the compass that has shown the way" to Christians in China throughout history and until today, he said in a video message to people taking part in an international conference in Rome May 21."Those who follow Jesus love peace, and find themselves together with all those who work for peace, in a time in which we see inhuman forces at work that seem to want to accelerate the end of the world," he said. The pope's video message was played at the beginning of a one-day conference marking the 100th anniversary of the first and, so far, only Council of the Chinese Catholic Church. The conference was organized by the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome together with Fides, a Vatican news agency, and the Pastoral Commission for China. The council, referred to as the "Concilium Sinense," was held in Shanghai in 1924 and was attended, for the most...

Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Joseph Williams as Coadjutor Bishop of Camden

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed Most Reverend Joseph A. Williams, auxiliary bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, as Coadjutor Bishop of Camden.The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 2024, by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan is the current bishop of Camden, and the appointment as coadjutor bishop confers on Bishop Williams the right of succession for the Diocese of Camden.Bishop Williams' biography may be found here.The Diocese of Camden is comprised of 2,691 square miles in the State of New Jersey and has a total population of 1,365,458 of which 311,489, are Catholic.###

Meet the modern-day 'devil's advocate' in the process of canonization

A view of the baldacchino underneath the central dome of St. Peter's Basilica. / Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNAACI Prensa Staff, May 26, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).Monsignor Alberto Royo Mejía is the promoter of the faith in the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. His current function is, in fact, the same one that was formerly performed by the so-called "devil's advocate" in the canonization processes. When and why was this name changed? Who exactly is, in effect, the "devil's advocate"?ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish-language news partner, was able to speak in Rome with Royo, who holds a doctorate in canon law and is a priest of the Diocese of Getafe in Spain, where he has been judicial vicar, episcopal delegate for the causes of saints, and pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in the town of Parla, south of Madrid.Origin of the termRoyo explained to ACI Prensa that the name "devil's advocate" is actually a popular designation, since Sixtus V did not establish this function ...

Cardinal Hollerich: 'Today we have politicians. Politicians have no convictions'

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, relator general of Synod on Synodality, speaks to the media on June 20, 2023, at the temporary headquarters of the Holy See Press Office in Vatican City. / Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNACNA Deutsch, May 25, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).In an interview with the French newspaper La Croix on Thursday, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, discussed the European elections and the dwindling influence of Christianity on politics. Hollerich is archbishop of Luxembourg, a member of the Council of Cardinals that advises Pope Francis, and a key figure at the Synod on Synodality, where he serves as relator general."This is a political consequence of the decline of Christianity and Catholicism in Europe because it is a fact that Christians in Europe are now a minority and will become even more so in the coming years," he said, explaining the current political position of Christians in Europe.This decline had led to a "lack of ideas" and a lack of politicians of the c...

'Come and get it': Texas Catholic charity gives away nearly 50,000 pounds of potatoes

Local residents collect potatoes from Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle on May 17, 2024. / Credit: Catholic Charities of the Texas PanhandleCNA Staff, May 25, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).A Catholic charity in Texas managed to give away nearly 25 tons of potatoes to the local community after receiving the massive donation as part of a food drive.Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle's Interfaith Hunger Project "received a HUGE donation of potatoes" from an anonymous donor earlier this month, the group said in a press release."And by HUGE, we're talking the 50,000-pound range," the charity said. "Because there's no way we can distribute that many potatoes to our clients before they go bad, we are inviting anyone in the public to come and take as many as they can use FREE of charge."Local residents collect potatoes from Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle on May 17, 2024. Credit: Catholic Charities of the Texas PanhandleThe charity had already distributed "more than 12...

Hundreds brave extreme heat to accompany the Eucharistic Lord in south Texas

Hundreds of Catholics join the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas on May 22, 2024. / Credit: Peter Pinedo/CNASan Juan, Texas, May 24, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).There's hot and then there's south Texas hot. MacKenzie Warrens, a National Eucharistic Revival "perpetual pilgrim," told CNA that the heat in the Texas Rio Grande Valley is unlike anything she has ever experienced. A doctoral student at Rice University in Houston, Warrens is no stranger to heat. But the weather in the valley, which instantly makes one feel as if he or she is swimming in a pool of heat and humidity, is something entirely different. Warrens is one of two dozen young Catholics who as part of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival are accompanying Christ in the Eucharist in a series of pilgrimage processions that are currently traversing the length and breadth of the contiguous United States. For Warrens and seven other young pilgrims who are leading th...

Thought of the Day

James 5:12

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.



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