pope francis

Site of pilgrimage: The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Wikipedia Commons
Pope Francis will begin a visit to Mexico at the end of this week, a country which has the second largest Catholic population in the world. The six-day visit will include areas know for migration, poverty, violence, corruption and crime. One of the most symbolic and emotionally-charged points of his pilgrimage will be the celebration of Mass on the Mexico-US border.En route to Mexico, in Cuba on Friday, the Pope will be meeting the Russian Orthodox leader of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch...
To instruct the ignorant
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has called for Lent to be ‘lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy.’[1] Thinking Faith will respond to this invitation by offering a series of reflections on the Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy in the context of Laudato si’. We begin by asking what it means to ‘instruct the ignorant’. ‘Ignorant’ is not a word with which most of us would like to be...
Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow, Wikipedia Commons
Next Friday, an historic meeting will take place between Pope Francis - head of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics across the world - and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose flocks numbers 170 million. This will be the first encounter between the two leaders in almost 1,000 years and will take place in Cuba, regarded as neutral territory.Father Federico Lombardi SJ, director of the Holy See's press office, described the meeting as “an event of extraordinary importance”, since it will be...
After the crowds have dispersed: St Peter's Basilica
Fr Jim Crampsey SJ attended the events in the Vatican to mark the end of the Year of Consecrated Life.  There is a passage which appears in the Synoptic Gospels in the context of the first sending out of the disciples which begins 'take no bag'. It is also a key scriptural passage in the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus. Nevertheless the first task in the days for the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life was to collect a bag full of goodies. Tickets for this came with a...
Iraqi refugees in Damascus, Syria - Wikipedia Commons
It is important to make the effort to get away from generalities when talking about welcoming refugees, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK, and not over-react to polls.  JRS UK was responding to the Comres poll for BBC Local Radio which showed that the majority of the British people (56%) would welcome refugees from places like Syria into their local communities and that 47% would like to see the UK accept more refugees, but also appeared to show a hardening of negative...
Photo of Pope Francis by European Parliament at flickr.com
How many conspiracy theories about Pope Francis have you heard? It’s likely that you have come across at least one, and if your natural reaction was to dismiss it out of hand, perhaps you’ve missed a trick.  The author of a new book on the Pope’s ‘not-so-cultured despisers’ argues that such narratives have a sociological significance and require our attention if we are to understand the phenomenon of Pope Francis. Surely nobody following Church...
A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey. (A McConnell / UNHCR)
This Sunday, the Church will celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, responding to the theme initiated by Pope Francis: "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us: the Response of the Gospel of Mercy".  Among the highlights of the weekend will be the 2016 Memorial Lecture of the Archdiocese of Liverpool’s Justice and Peace Commission, which will be given by Louise Zanré, the outgoing Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK (JRS-UK).Earlier this week, Pope Francis urged the...
Pope Francis's book is a spiritual inspiration to both Christians and non-Christians
The Name of God is Mercy – Pope Francis’s first official book – is published today. In celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, he addresses all humanity in an intimate and personal conversation with Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli.At the centre of the book is the subject closest to his heart—mercy. This has long been the cornerstone of his faith and is now the central teaching of his papacy. Francis explains—through memories from his youth and moving anecdotes from his experiences as a...
Pope Francis appeals directly for us all to join him in prayer
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has launched ‘the Pope Video’ through which Pope Francis invites men and women of the world to unite in prayer for his intentions related to the challenges facing humanity. This global multi-media initiative builds on the network that has grown as the Apostleship of Prayer since 1844; its first statutes were approved by Pius IX in 1879 and its promotion was entrusted to the Jesuits as an ecclesial ministry of the Church throughout the world. Since 1929, the...
Pope Francis leads the Angelus over St Peter's Square, Rome
Pope Francis has called on people to open their hearts to people in need as a means to nurture peace. Addressing pilgrims and visitors in St Peter’s Square after Mass in St Peter’s Square yesterday, he renewed his calls for peace and goodwill throughout the world.New Year’s Day is not only the Solemnity of the Mother of God; it is also the World Day of Peace, the theme of which in 2016 is ‘Overcome Indifference and win Peace’. “That peace, which God the Father wants to sow in the world, must be...

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