pope francis

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...
Pope Francis presides at the Liturgy of Thanksgiving in Rome, September 2014
A new publication by Cambridge University Press attempts to place the Suppression of the Society of Jesus (1773 – 1814) in its international context by analysing its causes and effects. Edited by Jonathan Wright and Jeffrey D. Burson, it aims to shed new light on the significance of the Suppression by drawing on the latest research.When Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus in 1773, it had a profound impact. Describing it as “a dramatic, puzzling act”, The Jesuit Suppression in...
'Homeless Jesus' at Regis College, Toronto
Methodist Central Hall in Westminster is applying to install one of the celebrated sculptures of the ‘Homeless Jesus’ by the internationally renowned artist Tim Schmalz. An original cast of the statue which depicts Christ lying anonymously in a blanket on a park bench is exhibited at the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto and Pope Francis himself has already blessed the work of art in the Vatican. If the application is successful, the sculpture at Methodist Central Hall,...
Children at a JRS-run school for refugees in Lebanon, credit: JRS
Education is a human right and is a way of building peace and development. That was the message from the Jesuit Refugee Service as it launched an ambitious advocacy and fundraising campaign. ‘Mercy in Motion’ is regarded as a concrete sign of commitment to the Jubilee Year of Mercy; and it has the active support of Pope Francis.The goal of the ‘Mercy in Motion’ Campaign is to offer educational services to 100,000 more refugees than are currently provided for, because, according to the Director...
Pope Francis opens the Holy Door at Bangui Cathedral, L'Osservatore Romano
The Catholic Church throughout the world formally begins the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy today, 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Francis invites the whole Church to refashion itself as a place not of judgment or condemnation but of pardon and merciful love. “Perhaps we have long since forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy,” Pope Francis wrote in the document Misericordiae Vultus (The Face of Mercy) in which he announced the Jubilee Year. He...
Delegates at COP21 in Paris are aiming for a just and binding agreement over climate change
As COP21 goes into its second week, Pope Francis has invoked the Holy Spirit upon delegates meeting for the Climate Change conference in Paris. In his address after the Angelus yesterday, he prayed for the conference’s success, saying that it was vital for humanity.Speaking to thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said that as he is following the work of the conference closely. He also reiterated the question he asked in his recent encyclical Laudato Si: "What kind of world do we...

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