pope francis

Photo of Pope Francis
Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, published on 8 April 2016, transposes church teaching on marriage and the family from the key of law to that of virtue and should be celebrated, says Nicholas Austin SJ. This powerful new document offers ‘a Gospel-inspired vision of what family life can be, a word of encouragement for those who are not yet there, and above all another example of the discerning way of proceeding that the pope has modelled’. The topic of...
A farmer on his farm, ploughing
Here in the northern hemisphere, spring arrives around now yet many of us feel anything but spring-like, despite the fact that the Lord is risen indeed and that plant-life in our gardens, city squares and window-sills is burgeoning, even blooming. There just seems too much to sadden, even terrify us, too many reasons to repudiate hope. It feels that our days are darker, not brighter. But the new life is springing; “now the green blade riseth”, as we can sing. We can learn much from...
Photo by Juliana Muncinelli at flickr.com
‘The cross of Christ is a sign of God’s willingness to forgive us’, writes Russell Pollitt SJ as he concludes our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy in Laudato si’.  As we contemplate our own sinfulness and the ultimate example of forgiveness in these days of Holy Week, we follow Pope Francis in viewing the ecological crisis ‘as a summons to profound interior conversion’, and recognise that true conversion involves sharing God’s mercy with...
Photograph of finger pointing at camera
Laudato si’ is a model of an Ignatian approach to sinfulness, an approach that is at the heart of Francis’ papacy, says Edel McClean as she reflects on how the encyclical helps us to think about our next Spiritual Work of Mercy: to admonish the sinner. Ignatius and Pope Francis ‘encourage us to look our personal sin in the eye, but we only take this step when we have a deep understanding of God’s creative and transformative love for us.’ Speaking to the...
Inscription in the Church of Saint-Sulpice, Paris
‘O if we but knew what we do’, wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins as he despaired over the way in which he saw the natural world suffer at the hands of humankind. This attentiveness to and solidarity with the suffering of a fragile planet and its most vulnerable inhabitants is a Spiritual Work of Mercy, writes Teresa White FCJ: comforting the afflicted is at the very core of what it means to be merciful. Recently, a friend of mine spent a few days in Paris, and on her return she told...
The Pope answers questions on war, sin and free will in the new book
Letters and drawings from children from Jesuit institutions around the world – including in the UK – feature in a new book from Pope Francis, which attempts to answer his question: ‘What did God do before the world was made?’ The six to 13-year-olds, who come from five continents, wrote to the Pope, asking him questions on a wide variety of topics. Their letters and drawings were taken to Casa Santa Marta last summer by Fr Antonio Spadaro SJ, the director of La Civilta Cattolica, and 31 of them...
‘The gravity of the ecological crisis demands that we all look to the common good, embarking on a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity’, writes Pope Francis in Laudato si’. When we struggle to show this patience, particularly in the face of what we perceive to be wrongdoing, we should look to the resilience of the natural world for encouragement and instruction in this particular work of mercy, says Henry Longbottom SJ. The Marsh...
30,000 celebrated Mass with Pope Francis in the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, across the border with Mexico
Pope Francis has celebrated his final Mass in Mexico and has highlighted the plight of thousands of migrants – many of whom face enormous difficulties in their quest for better lives and others who have died in the process of trying. He preached at Mexico's northern border with the United States, and appealed for governments to open their hearts, if not their borders, to the “human tragedy that is forced migration”. On his arrival at Ciudad Juarez to celebrate Mass, Pope Francis knelt...
Photo by Joshua Earle via Unsplash
In St Augustine’s description of his ministry, he said that: ‘The turbulent have to be corrected, the faint-hearted cheered up, the weak supported; the Gospel's opponents need to be refuted, its insidious enemies guarded against; the unlearned need to be taught, the indolent stirred up, the argumentative checked; the proud must be put in their place, the desperate set on their feet, those engaged in quarrels reconciled; the needy have to be helped, the oppressed to be liberated...
Pope Francis at the Federico Gomez Pediatric Hospital in Mexico City, Vatican TV Center
After the relative pomp of Mexico City and the splendour of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis headed into the suburbs yesterday to celebrate Mass in the open air with more than 400,000 people in the rough, crime-ridden neighbourhood of Ecatepec.Ecatepec is notorious for organised crime, pollution and poverty – a dangerous area especially for women who are frequently victims of rape, are forced into prostitution or are murdered. According to Veronica Scarisbrick of Vatican...

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