Log in
    

Pope: Blessed Paul VI to be canonized this year

Pope Francis told pastors in the Diocese of Rome that Blessed Paul VI would be canonized this year.
 
The pope's announcement came at the end of a question-and-answer session with the priests Feb. 15; the Vatican released the text of the exchange three days later.
 
Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, papal vicar for Rome, had told the priests that they would be receiving a book of "meditations" about priesthood drawn from speeches from each pope, from Blessed Paul VI to Pope Francis.
 
That prompted Pope Francis to comment, "There are two (recent) bishops of Rome who already are saints," Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II. "Paul VI will be a saint this year."
 
The sainthood cause of Pope John Paul I is open, he noted, before adding, "Benedict (XVI) and I are on the waiting list; pray for us."
 
The cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes reportedly voted Feb. 6 to recognize as a miracle the healing of an unborn baby and helping her reach full term. The baby's mother, who was told she had a very high risk of miscarrying the baby, had prayed for Blessed Paul's intercession a few days after his beatification by Pope Francis in 2014.
 
The theological commission of the Congregation for Saints' Causes had voted in December to recognize the intercession of Blessed Paul in the healing.
 
Although Pope Francis announced the upcoming canonization, he still has not formally signed the decree recognizing the miracle nor held a consistory — a meeting of cardinals — to set the date for the ceremony.
 
La Voce del Popolo, the newspaper of Blessed Paul's home diocese, the Diocese of Brescia, Italy, had reported in December that it is likely Pope Francis will celebrate the canonization Mass in October, during the meeting of the world Synod of Bishops, an institution Pope Paul had revived.
 
Blessed Paul, who was born Giovanni Battista Montini, was pope from 1963 to 1978.
 
  • Published in World

Acknowledge sin, but look for signs of God at work, pope tells priests

While it is true that the world is full of sin and sinful behavior, priests must learn to scrutinize the "signs of the times" for new trends and attitudes that are good and healthy and holy, Pope Francis told pastors from the Diocese of Rome.
 
While there is "moral conduct that we aren't used to seeing," such as the normalization of living together before marriage, there also is a greater awareness of human rights, a push for tolerance and equality and appreciation for the values of peace and solidarity," he said Feb. 15.
 
"We should not be frightened of the difficulties, but discern the signs of the times, the things that come from the Spirit" and then "help with the others," he said, according to RomaSette, the diocesan newspaper.
 
As is customary on the day after Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis spent the morning with the pastors in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Rome cathedral. The session began with a penitential liturgy and with the pope spending almost an hour hearing confessions.
 
Afterward, he responded to some of their questions. The event was closed to the press, although the Vatican Media website and RomaSette provided some information later in the day.
 
The questions were submitted by groups of priests according to how long they had been ordained.
 
The younger priests asked how they could fully live their vocation. Pope Francis has three recommendations: first, learn to balance commitments; second, "find your own style"; and finally, spend time in private prayer and find a good spiritual director with whom to talk over what arises in prayer.
 
While forgiveness always is available, the pope said, a person needs to learn how to examine the things that lead to sin in their lives and, especially for that reason, a mature spiritual guide is necessary.
 
To priests who are 40 to 50 years old and have been ordained a bit longer, Pope Francis said theirs is a time when ideals tend to become weaker and when the weight of ministry and administrative duties start to be felt.
 
The approach of middle age is a time of "many temptations," he said, but also the time of a "second calling from the Lord," a call to greater realism about ministry and greater maturity.
 
"One cannot continue without this necessary transformation because if you keep going like this, without maturing, making a way for crisis," the pope said, "it will end badly. You'll end up living a double life or leaving everything."
 
The older group of priests, those ordained more than 35 years ago, asked the pope about handling change, saying "we cannot always draw on our experience to respond to new questions" raised by society. They also asked the pope how he handled that mature phase of his ministry.
 
While the pope said he understood their unease with the fast-changing culture, he insisted that what people need most today are things they are more than able to provide: a smile, a listening ear and "offering pardon without condition in the sacrament of reconciliation."
 
Elderly priests, he said, know the trials of life and the difficulties and pain that people experience. They don't have to talk much, but they should listen a lot.
 
In his own life, when he faced big changes in his ministry, he told the priests, what helped most was to spend more time in prayer and adoration before the tabernacle.
 
  • Published in World

Lent is time to notice God's work, receive God's mercy

Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said.
 
"Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: 'A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,'" the pope said Feb. 14, celebrating Mass and distributing ashes at the beginning of Lent.
 
After a brief prayer at the Benedictine's Monastery of St. Anselm, Pope Francis made the traditional Ash Wednesday procession to the Dominican-run Basilica of Santa Sabina on Rome's Aventine Hill for the Mass.
 
He received ashes on his head from 93-year-old Cardinal Jozef Tomko, titular cardinal of the basilica, and he distributed ashes to the cardinals present, three Benedictines, three Dominicans, an Italian couple with two children and members of the Pontifical Academy for Martyrs, which promotes the traditional Lenten "station church" pilgrimage in Rome.
 
In his homily, he said the Church gives Christians the 40 days of Lent as a time to reflect on "anything that could dampen or even corrode our believing heart."
 
Everyone experiences temptation, the pope said. Lent is a time to pause and step back from situations that lead to sin, a time to see how God is at work in others and in the world and, especially, a time to return to the Lord, knowing that his mercy is boundless.
 
Lent, he said, is a time "to allow our hearts to beat once more in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus."
 
Hitting the reset button, the pope said, requires taking a pause from "bitter feelings, which never get us anywhere" and from a frantic pace of life that leaves too little time for family, friends, children, grandparents and God.
 
People need to pause from striving to be noticed, from snooty comments and "haughty looks," he said; instead, they need to show tenderness, compassion and even reverence for others.
 
"Pause for a little while, refrain from the deafening noise that weakens and confuses our hearing, that makes us forget the fruitful and creative power of silence," the pope said.
 
Use the pauses of Lent "to look and contemplate," he suggested. Christians can learn from seeing the gestures others make that "keep the flame of faith and hope alive."
 
"Look at faces alive with God's tenderness and goodness working in our midst," the pope said, pointing to the faces of families who struggle to survive yet continue to love, the wrinkled faces of the elderly "that reflect God's wisdom at work" and the faces of the sick and their caregivers who "remind us that the value of each person can never be reduced to a question of calculation or utility."
 
"See the remorseful faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes, and who from their misfortune and suffering, fight to transform their situations and move forward," Pope Francis said.
 
But most of all, he said, "see and contemplate the real face of Christ crucified out of love for everyone, without exception. For everyone? Yes, for everyone. To see His face is an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation.
 
The invitation, he said, is to "return without fear to those outstretched, eager arms of your Father, who is rich in mercy, who awaits you."
 
"Return without fear to join in the celebration of those who are forgiven," the pope said. "Return without fear to experience the healing and reconciling tenderness of God."
 
  • Published in World

Five years a pope: Francis' focus has been on outreach

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope just a few days after telling the College of Cardinals that the Catholic Church faced a clear choice between being a church that "goes out" or a church focused on its internal affairs.
 
After the cardinal from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected March 13, 2013, and chose the name Francis, he made "go out," "periphery" and "throwaway culture" standard phrases in the papal vocabulary.
 
Catholics have a wide variety of opinions about how Pope Francis is exercising the papal ministry, and many of his comments — both in informal news conferences and in formal documents — have stirred controversy. But, as he wrote in "Evangelii Gaudium," the apostolic exhortation laying out the vision for his pontificate: "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security."
 
But there are two areas of internal Church affairs that he recognized needed immediate attention: the reform of the Roman Curia and the full protection of children and vulnerable adults from clerical sexual abuse.
 
The organizational reform of the Curia has been taking place in stages, but Pope Francis has insisted that the real reform is a matter of changing hearts and embracing service.
 
On the issue of abuse, nine months into his pontificate, Pope Francis established the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection to advise him on better ways to prevent clerical sexual abuse and to ensure pastoral care for the survivors.
 
While Pope Francis has emphatically proclaimed "zero tolerance" for abusers and recently said covering up abuse "is itself an abuse," as his fifth anniversary approached serious questions arose about how he handled accusations that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, who was a priest at the time, covered up allegations of abuse against his mentor.
 
The new scandal threatened to undermine the widespread popularity of Pope Francis and his efforts to set the Catholic Church on a new course.
 
For Pope Francis, that new course involves evangelization first of all.
 
"Evangelizing presupposes a desire in the church to come out of herself," he had told the cardinals just days before the conclave that elected him. "The church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents and of all misery."
 
Mercy is the first thing the Catholic Church is called to bring to those peripheries, he says.
 
Although in 2013 he told reporters he would not be traveling as much as his predecessors, Pope Francis has continued their practice of literally "going out," making 22 trips outside of Italy and visiting 32 nations.
 
But he also regularly visits the peripheries of Rome, both its poor suburbs and its hospitals, rehabilitation centers, prisons and facilities for migrants and refugees.
 
His desire to reach out has inspired innovations that were noteworthy at the beginning of the papacy, but now seem to be a natural part of a pope's day. For example, after beginning with Vatican gardeners and garbage collectors, the pope continues to invite a small group of Catholics to join him most weekday mornings for Mass in the chapel of his residence.
 
The residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, is a guesthouse built by St. John Paul II with the intention of providing decent housing for cardinals when they would enter a conclave to elect a new pope. Pope Francis decided after the 2013 conclave to stay there and not move into the more isolated papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace.
 
On Holy Thursday each year, he has celebrated Mass at a prison, care facility or refugee center and washed the feet of patients, inmates or immigrants, both men and women, Catholics and members of other faiths. He also ordered the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments to clarify that the feet of both women and men can be washed at the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper.
 
During the 2015-16 Year of Mercy, he made a visit one Friday a month to people in particular need, including those at a school for the blind, a neonatal intensive care unit, a community of recovering alcoholics, a children's group home and a community for women rescued from traffickers who forced them into prostitution. Once the Year of Mercy ended, the pope continued the visits, although not always every month.
 
In September 2015 as waves of migrants and refugees were struggling and dying to reach Europe, Pope Francis asked every parish and religious community in Europe to consider offering hospitality to one family. The Vatican offered apartments and support to a family from Syria and a family from Eritrea. Then, seven months later, Pope Francis visited a refugee center on the island of Lesbos, Greece, and brought 12 refugees back to Rome on the plane with him.
 
Less than three months into his pontificate, he began denouncing the "throwaway culture" as one where money and power were the ultimate values and anything or anyone that did not advance money or power were disposable: "Human life, the person are no longer seen as primary values to be respected and protected, especially if they are poor or disabled, if they are not yet useful -- like an unborn child -- or are no longer useful -- like an old person," the pope said at a general audience.
 
In the first three years of his papacy, he published three major documents: "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel); "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," on the environment; and "'Amoris Laetitia' (The Joy of Love), on Love in the Family," his reflections on the discussions of the Synod of Bishops in 2014 and 2015.
 
People skeptical about the scientific proof that human activity is contributing to climate change objected to parts of "Laudato Si'," but the criticism was muted compared to reactions to Pope Francis' document on the family, especially regarding ministry to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and the possibility that, under some conditions, some of those Catholics could return to the sacraments.
 
The strongest criticism came from U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and three other cardinals, who sent to the pope and then publicly released in November 2016 a formal, critical set of questions, known as "dubia," insisting that allowing those Catholics to receive the sacraments amounted to changing fundamental church teaching about marriage, sexuality and the nature of the sacraments.
 
Pope Francis has not responded to the cardinals, two of whom have since died. But in December, the Vatican posted on its website the guidelines for interpreting "Amoris Laetitia" developed by a group of Argentine bishops, as well as Pope Francis' letter to them describing the guidelines as "authentic magisterium."
 
The guidelines by bishops in the Buenos Aires region said the path of discernment proposed by Pope Francis for divorced and civilly remarried couples "does not necessarily end in the sacraments" but, in some situations, after a thorough process of discernment, the pope's exhortation "opens the possibility" to reception of the sacraments.
 
In the document and throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has emphasized God's mercy and the power of the sacraments to spur conversion and nourish Christians as they try to progress in holiness.
 
Like all popes, Pope Francis frequently urges Catholics to go to confession, telling them it is not a "torture chamber." And he repeatedly gives priests blunt advice about being welcoming and merciful to those who approach the confessional.
 
Like St. John Paul did each Lent, Pope Francis hears confessions in St. Peter's Basilica. But, he surprised even his closest aides beginning in 2014 when, instead of going to the confessional to welcome the first penitent, he turned and went to confession himself.
 
He also has surprised people by being completely honest about his age. In April 2017, when he was still 80 years old, he told Italian young people that while they are preparing for the future, "at my age we are preparing to go." The young people present objected loudly. "No?" the pope responded, "Who can guarantee life? No one."
 
From the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis has expressed love and admiration for retired Pope Benedict XVI. Returning from South Korea in 2014, he said Pope Benedict's honest, "yet also humble and courageous" gesture of resigning cleared a path for later popes to do the same.
 
"You can ask me: 'What if one day you don't feel prepared to go on?'" he told the reporters traveling with him. "I would do the same, I would do the same! I will pray hard over it, but I would do the same thing. He (Pope Benedict) opened a door which is institutional, not exceptional."
 
  • Published in Vatican

Pope supports pro-life movement, sets day of prayer for peace in Africa

With so many direct attacks on human life, from abortion to war, Pope Francis said he is worried that so few people are involved in pro-life activities.
 
Reciting the Angelus prayer at the Vatican Feb. 4, Pope Francis marked Italy's Pro-Life Sunday and also called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace Feb. 23, with special prayers for Congo and South Sudan.
 
Some 20,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus. Many of them carried the pro-life movement's green balloons with the message, "Yes to life."
 
Thanking all the "different Church realities that promote and support life in many ways," Pope Francis said he was surprised there were not more people involved.
 
"This worries me," the pope said. "There aren't many who fight on behalf of life in a world where, every day, more weapons are made; where, every day, more laws against life are passed; where, every day, this throwaway culture expands, throwing away what isn't useful, what is bothersome" to too many people.
 
Pope Francis asked for prayers that more people would become aware of the need to defend human life "in this moment of destruction and of throwing away humanity."
 
With conflict continuing in many parts of the world, the pope said it was time for a special day of prayer and fasting for peace and that it was appropriate for the observance to take place Feb. 23, a Friday in Lent.
 
"Let us offer it particularly for the populations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of South Sudan," he said.
 
Fighting between government troops and rebel forces and between militias continues in Congo, especially in the east, but tensions also have erupted as protests grow against President Joseph Kabila, whose term of office ended in 2016. New elections have yet to be scheduled.
 
South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war. But, just two years after independence, political tensions erupted into violence.
 
Pope Francis asked "our non-Catholic and non-Christian brothers and sisters to join this initiative in the way they believe is most opportune."
 
And he prayed that "our heavenly Father would always listen to his children who cry to Him in pain and anguish."
 
But individuals also must hear those cries, he said, and ask themselves, "'What can I do for peace?' Certainly we can pray, but not only. Each person can say 'no' to violence" in his or her daily life and interactions. "Victories obtained with violence are false victories while working for peace is good for everyone."
 
  • Published in World

CRS Rice Bowl

As Pope Francis asks us to “Share the Journey” with migrants and refugees aground the world, Catholic Relief Services’ Rice Bowl offers Catholics in the United States a way to encounter Lent, to encounter the causes of migration and displacement and to learn about the challenges faced by families around the world in their Dioceses, parishes and homes.
 
CRS Rice Bowl, the agency’s flagship Lenten program now in its fifth decade, will begin once again on Ash Wednesday — Feb. 14 — giving Catholics throughout the country an opportunity to encounter the stories of people in need throughout the world.
 
“From CRS’ work in more than 100 countries, we know that people do not want to leave their homes, that they do so because they feel they have no other choice,” said Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of church engagement. “Lenten sacrifices contributed through CRS Rice Bowl help give them that choice by providing sustenance and livelihoods in communities around the world.”
 
Begun as an ecumenical effort in the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1975, CRS Rice Bowl soon spread across the country as it called on Catholics to perform a simple act of Lenten sacrifice: substitute a low-cost meatless meal for more expensive dining once a week during Lent and put the money saved in a cardboard rice bowl.
 
That concept remains at the heart of the program even as it has expanded to include broader Lenten faith enrichment through a wide variety of resources available for the millions of Catholics who participate. These include prayer resources, a daily Lenten calendar, weekly stories of hope that introduce families from around the world and recipes from various countries for meatless meals that can be enjoyed on Fridays during Lent.
 
Funds collected in the rice bowls, which are turned in at the end of Lent, are distributed both throughout the world and in local communities to combat hunger; 75 percent of every donation goes to CRS programming in targeted countries worldwide while 25 percent remains in the Diocese from which the donation came, supporting initiatives that help alleviate poverty.
 
But the goal is to go beyond collecting money and spur discussions — both in churches and around family dinner tables — about the meaning of Lent and the daily reality that people living in poverty face.
 
“We see CRS Rice Bowl as much more than a fund-raising opportunity,” said Rosenhauer. “It is an opportunity for Catholics in America to encounter what Lent means, what poverty means, what resilience means, what hope means.”
 
“We want families to participate together so they can experience the joyous feeling of solidarity that comes from generosity and sacrifice,” she said. “We know from years of experience that CRS Rice Bowl can be life-changing.”
 
As part of CRS Rice Bowl, speakers from throughout the world will travel across the United States telling their stories of how CRS Rice Bowl-supported programs are changing lives. For Thomas Awiapo, a feeding program in his village in Ghana funded by CRS Rice Bowl brought him as a hungry young orphan to school for food. He stayed for an education, eventually a master’s degree in the United States, returning to Ghana for a career with CRS there. Cassandra Bassainthe, who left Haiti as a young child, will talk about why she returned to her home country to help the poor and vulnerable. Micter Chaola of Malawi and Jacques Kabore of Burkina Faso will share their experiences working in agriculture in their respective countries.
 
“CRS Rice Bowl does far more than feed people,” said Rosenhauer. “It also helps develop agriculture so that families and communities can support themselves. As we heed the request of Pope Francis and ‘Share the Journey,’ we know that the best way you can help a migrant is to make sure that she doesn’t have to leave home in the first place. That’s what CRS Rice Bowl can help accomplish.”
 
To learn more about CRS Rice Bowl, go to crsricebowl.org.
 
 
 
  • Published in Nation

Pope Francis on 'fake news'

People have a responsibility to check the source of what they share on social media to ensure it is not "fake news" designed to further prejudices or increase fear, Pope Francis said.
 
Fake news grabs people's attention "by appealing to stereotypes and common social prejudices and exploiting instantaneous emotions like anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration," Pope Francis wrote in his message for World Communications Day 2018.
 
The message is a reflection on the theme, "'The truth will set you free.' Fake news and journalism for peace." World Communications Day will be celebrated May 13 at the Vatican and in most Dioceses. The papal message was released at the Vatican Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.
 
Fake news is so effective, he said, because it mimics real news but uses "non-existent or distorted data" to deceive and manipulate.
 
The first to employ the fake-news tactic was the serpent in the Garden of Eden who convinced Eve she would not die by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree, he said. The Bible story shows that "there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences."
 
Pope Francis praised educators who teach young people how to read and question the news and the information they see presented on social media. He encouraged efforts to develop regulations to counter fake news and he praised tech and media companies for trying to improve ways to verify "the personal identities concealed behind millions of digital profiles."
 
But, he insisted, individuals always will have the final responsibility for discerning what is real news and what is helpful to share on social media.
 
"We need to unmask what could be called the 'snake tactics' used by those who disguise themselves in order to strike at any time and place" like the serpent in the Garden of Eden did.
 
The snake's power grows as people limit their sources of information to one outlet, especially if that outlet is a social media platform whose algorithms are based on providing users with more information like they have just read, the pope said.
 
"Disinformation thus thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information that could effectively challenge prejudices and generate constructive dialogue," he wrote.
 
People who repost or retweet such false information, the pope said, become "unwilling accomplices in spreading biased and baseless ideas."
 
One way to know if something should be checked and not be shared, he said, is if it "discredits others, presenting them as enemies, to the point of demonizing them and fomenting conflict."
 
In the modern world, with the rapid and viral spread of news and information -- both real and fake -- lives and souls are at stake, he said, because the "father of lies" is the devil.
 
True discernment, the pope said, means examining information and keeping what promotes communion and goodness, while rejecting whatever "tends to isolate, divide, and oppose."
 
"We can recognize the truth of statements from their fruits: whether they provoke quarrels, foment division, encourage resignation; or, on the other hand, they promote informed and mature reflection leading to constructive dialogue and fruitful results," Pope Francis wrote.
 
Journalists, he said, have a special responsibility in the modern world amid the media "feeding frenzies and the mad rush for a scoop."
 
Pope Francis asked media professions to promote "a journalism of peace," which does not mean ignoring problems or being saccharine. It means "a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans and sensational headlines."
 
A journalism of peace is at the service of all people, "especially those -- and they are the majority in our world -- who have no voice," he said. It is "a journalism committed to pointing out alternatives to the escalation of shouting matches and verbal violence."
 
Pope Francis ended his message with his own adaptation of the "Prayer of St. Francis" for both those who report the news and those who read or watch it.
 
"Where there is shouting, let us practice listening," the prayer said. "Where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity."
 
"Where there is prejudice, let us awaken trust," it continued. "Where there is hostility, let us bring respect; where there is falsehood, let us bring truth."
 
The text of the pope's message in English can be found here: w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/communications/documents/papa-francesco_20180124_messaggio-comunicazioni-sociali.html.
 
  • Published in World

Pope Francis begins visit to Peru, Chile

Pope Francis arrived in Santiago Jan. 15, the first stop on a seven-day, six-city visit to Peru and Chile, where he will take his message of hope to people on the margins of society.
 
Arriving in Santiago after more than 15 hours in the air, Pope Francis was greeted by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and a young Chilean girl. He told the crowd he was happy to be in Chile, and he blessed the workers at the airport before being transported to the papal nunciature, where he will stay the three nights he is in Chile.
 
On Jan. 17, the pope will travel to Temuco and meet with residents of the Mapuche indigenous community. Members of the Mapuche have called for the government to return lands confiscated prior to the country's return to democracy in the late 1980s.
 
"Chile won't be too difficult for me because I studied there for a year and I have many friends there and I know it well, or rather, well enough. Peru, however, I know less. I have gone maybe two, three times for conferences and meetings," the pope told journalists aboard the papal flight.
 
There was no mention of increased security for the Chilean visit. Three days earlier, several Chilean churches were firebombed, and police found other, unexploded devices at two other churches in Santiago. Some of the pamphlets included the phrase, "The next bombs will be in your cassock" and spoke of the Mapuche cause.
 
Before flying to Peru Jan. 18, Pope Francis will visit Iquique, where he will celebrate Mass on Lobito beach.
 
In Peru Jan. 18-21, he will visit Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.
 
He will also meet with the indigenous people of the Amazon during his visit to Puerto Maldonado. The Amazon rainforest includes territory belonging to nine countries in South America and has experienced significant deforestation, negatively impacting the indigenous populations in the area and leading to a loss of biodiversity.
 
In both countries, he will work to restore trust and encourage healing after scandals left many wounded and angry at the Catholic Church.
 
Shortly after take-off from Rome, Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, distributed a photo card the pope wished to share with journalists aboard his flight from Rome.
 
The photo depicted a young Japanese boy shortly after the bombing in Nagasaki, waiting in line, carrying his dead baby brother on his back to the crematorium. On the back of the card, the words "The fruit of war" were written along with Pope Francis' signature.
 
Before greeting each of the 70 journalists, the pope said that he found the photo "by chance" and "was very moved when I saw this."
 
"I could only write 'the fruit of war.' I wanted to print it and give it to you because such an image is more moving than a thousand words," he said.
 
Responding to a journalist's question about nuclear war, Pope Francis said: "I think we are at the very limit. I am really afraid of this. One accident is enough to precipitate things."
 
The Peru-Chile trip is Pope Francis' fourth to South America. In July 2013, he visited Brazil for World Youth Day. In July 2015, he traveled to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. His trip to Colombia in September was his third visit to the continent as pope.
 
  • Published in World
Subscribe to this RSS feed
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal