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Day: November 27, 2014

Pope at Santa Marta: Depression and hope

(Vatican Radio) Reality can be ugly, but despite the suffering, corruption and indifference in today’s world as Christians we must hold our heads high in hope said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Listen to our report:  Basing his reflections on the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis spoke of the…
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Pope Francis’ visit to Turkey: its political and religious dimensions

(Vatican Radio)  What is the main significance and chief highlights of Pope Francis’s three day pastoral visit to Turkey this week?  And what message is he likely to bring to the Christian and Muslim communities during his time in Ankara and Istanbul?  These were some of the questions Susy Hodges put to Vatican Radio’s correspondent Philippa Hitchen who is travelling with the Pope during his trip. 
Listen to the full interview with Philippa Hitchen just before her departure for Turkey: 

Philippa explained that Pope Francis is visiting Turkey after receiving invitations both from the Turkish government and from Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church, who asked him to participate in celebrations marking the feast of St. Andrew, founder of the Eastern Church.  She said because of these two separate invitations, the papal visit to Turkey has a two-fold significance. 
“There’s a political dimension to it and there’s a religious dimension to it.”
One of the most keenly-awaited moments of the Pope’s visit will be his meeting with Bartholomew I and Philippa pointed out that this encounter comes against the backdrop of a “particularly good friendship” that has been struck up between the two leaders.   
The political dimension to this visit, observed Philippa, comes from the Pope’s meetings with Turkey’s president and prime minister and with the nation’s Department of Religious Affairs which will give him a chance to address a message to “ the wider Muslim world.”  She said Pope Francis is likely to use these meetings with Turkey’s political and Muslim representatives to stress once again his conviction that religion has never be used to justify violence.
“The Pope will say very clearly once again, I’m sure, that no believer, nobody who has any faith in God can ever carry out any acts of violence in the name of religion.”  In this context, Philippa also noted how Turkey’s religious leaders have clearly condemned the violence being waged by the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.  
When it comes to Turkey’s tiny Catholic community, Philippa said she expected the Pope to urge them to be “more united… to witness together … to tackle their problems together,” saying it will be “an important message of encouragement.” 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Holy Father’s calendar for December 2014 and January 2015

Vatican City, 27 November 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff has published the following calendar of liturgical celebrations at which the Holy Father will preside in December 2014 and January 2015: DECEMBER Monday 8: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At 4 p.m. in Piazza di Spagna, veneration of the image of Mary Immaculate. Friday 12: Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for Latin America. Sunday 14: “Gaudete Sunday” Third of Advent. At 4 p.m., pastoral visit to the Roman Parish of “San Giuseppe all’Aurelio”. Wednesday 24: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. At 9.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass. Thursday 25: Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Central loggia of the Vatican Basilica, at 12 p.m., “Urbi et Orbi” blessing. Wednesday 31: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. At 5 p.m. First Vespers and Te Deum, in Thanksgiving for the past year. JANUARY Thursday 1: Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. 48th World Peace Day. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass. Tuesday 6: Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass. Sunday 11: Sunday after the Epiphany: Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in the Sistine Chapel. Holy Mass and baptism of babies. Monday 12 to Monday 19: Apostolic trip in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Sunday 25: Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul. At 5.30 in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, Vespers….

Pope Francis: Christians have a duty to proclaim the Gospel

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with members of the Pauline Family, on the occasion of their 100th anniversary, telling them that Christians have a duty to proclaim the Gospel without exception. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report One hundred years ago and against the background of the 1st World War, Blessed James Alberione an…
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Pope: God lives in big cities. We must be there with Him.

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged bishops and pastoral care workers to take up the challenge of bringing the Gospel into big cities with a profound change of attitude and renewed committment. In a message to participants of the International Pastoral Congress on the World’s Big Cities, held in Barcelona this week, the Pope issued…
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