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Day: January 30, 2015

Vatican to offer haircuts, shaves as well as showers to Rome’s homeless ?

The Vatican will offer homeless people in Rome not only showers but also haircuts and shaves when new facilities open next month, the head of Pope Francis’ charity office said.  The Vatican announced last year that it would provide shower facilities in St Peter’s Square for homeless people.  Archbishop Konrad Krajewski the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Thursday that it would also offer haircuts and shaves when the services start on Feb. 16 in an area under the colonnade of the square.  Arch. Krajewski, whose official title is the pope’s almsgiver, said barbers and hairdressers would volunteer their services on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.  They had already donated chairs, hair-cutting instruments, and mirrors, the newspaper’s website said.  Arch. Krajewski came up with the idea of building showers in St. Peter’s Square last year after a homeless person told him that while it was relatively easy to find places to eat at Rome charities, it was difficult to find places to wash.  He immediately received the pope’s backing for the shower project and then expanded it to include haircuts and shaves.  (Source: Reuter)
(from Vatican Radio)…

Vatican to offer haircuts, shaves as well as showers to Rome’s homeless ?

The Vatican will offer homeless people in Rome not only showers but also haircuts and shaves when new facilities open next month, the head of Pope Francis’ charity office said.  The Vatican announced last year that it would provide shower facilities in St Peter’s Square for homeless people.  Archbishop Konrad Krajewski the Italian Catholic newspaper…
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Pope Francis: spirit of fraternity with Oriental Orthodox

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the participants in a meeting -this week – of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
The Oriental Orthodox Churches those Orthodox Eastern Christian churches which recognize only the first three ecumenical councils, and rejected the formulae of the Council of Chalcedon, at which certain central Christological doctrines were dogmatically defined, most especially the dual nature – fully divine and fully human, perfectly united though without mixing, blending or alteration – of Christ.
Click below to hear our report

In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered during the noon audience in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, Pope Francis praised the progress of the Commission in its dozen years of work, and called on all participants to continue their journey in a spirit of brotherhood. “I express my hope that this work will bear rich fruit for our common theological research and help us to experience ever more fully our fraternal friendship,” the Holy Father said.
Pope Francis went on to note, with, “dismay and deep sadness,” the ongoing conflicts and crises in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. “I join you,” he said, “in praying for a negotiated solution and in imploring God’s goodness and mercy upon all those affected by this immense tragedy.” The Holy Father continued, saying, “All Christians are called to work together, in mutual acceptance and trust, in order to serve the cause of peace and justice.  May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities.”
Pope Francis concluded his remarks by thanking the participants for their visit, invoking the Lord’s blessings and the maternal protection of Mary on their ministry, and asking in turn for their continued prayers for him.
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: spirit of fraternity with Oriental Orthodox

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday received the participants in a meeting -this week – of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Oriental Orthodox Churches those Orthodox Eastern Christian churches which recognize only the first three ecumenical councils, and rejected the formulae of the Council of Chalcedon, at which certain central…
Read more

Pope Francis: Christians’ two parameters: memory and hope

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis warned that lukewarm Christians who’ve lost the memory and enthusiasm of their first encounter with Christ are in grave danger of letting the devil into their homes. Christians, he explained, must always retain that memory of their first meeting with Christ and their hope in Him to help them go forward with the courage of their faith. The Pope’s words came at his morning Mass on Friday (January 30th) celebrated at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking the inspiration for his reflections from the Letter to the Hebrews, Pope Francis said somebody who no longer remembers his or her first meeting with Jesus is an empty and spiritually inert person, as only lukewarm people can be.  The day of that first encounter with Christ, he stressed, must never be forgotten.  
Lukewarm Christians in grave danger
“Our memory is so important for recalling the grace received because if we chase away that enthusiasm which comes from the memory of that first love, this enthusiasm coming from that first love, then a huge danger arrives for Christians: a lukewarm (faith).  Lukewarm Christians.  They’re there, immobile and yes, they’re Christians, but they’ve lost the memory of that first love.  And they’ve also lost their enthusiasm. In addition, they’ve lost their patience, to tolerate life’s problems with the spirit of Jesus’ love, to tolerate, and to bear on their shoulders the difficulties….   Lukewarm Christians, poor things, they’re in grave danger.”
Pope Francis said when he thinks about lukewarm Christians he is struck by two distasteful images, the one described by Peter who talks of the dog that returns to its own vomit and the other described by Jesus of people who chase away the devil and decide to follow the gospel but when the devil later returns with reinforcements they open their doors of their house to him.  The Pope said this is like returning to the vomit of that evil that was earlier rejected and vice-versa.  
“A Christian has these two parameters, memory and hope.  We must evoke our memory so as not to lose the beautiful experience of that first love which feeds our hope. Many times that hope is in darkness but (a Christian) still goes ahead.  He or she believes and goes forward because they know that hope never disappoints us, in finding Jesus.  These two parameters are the very frames within which we can safeguard the salvation of the good people which comes from the Lord.”
Memory and hope equal faith
The Pope said this salvation must be protected in order that the tiny mustard seed will grow and bear fruit.
“It’s painful and heart-breaking to see so many Christians – so many  Christians! – half-way along the road, so many Christians who’ve failed along this road towards a meeting with Jesus, going away from this encounter with Jesus. This road where they’ve lost the memory of that first love and no longer have any hope.”
(from Vatican Radio)…