Pope Francis

Pope Francis is on his way to South Korea where he will join several thousand young Catholics from 23 different Asian countries gathered for the sixth Asian Youth Day and will beatify 124 Korean martyrs who died for their faith in the 18th Century.While Buddhism remains strong in South Korea, the number of Catholics has risen to almost 11% of the population in a country where Korean Catholics tend to be well educated and form a significant part of their country's political elite.According...
The Jesuits in Britain have joined the Holy Father’s prayers for peace in Iraq. Pope Francis has appealed on several occasions over the past few weeks for violence to stop and has urged the Church to intercede for a peaceful solution to the fighting in the Middle East, most recently at last Sunday's Angelus.Fr Dermot Preston SJ, the Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain, says that the Pope has expressed his deep concern at the situation in this region of the world and has expressed his...
Pope Francis was a surprise guest at the Jesuit Curia in Rome last Thursday. The Community was about to celebrate the Feast of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St Ignatius Loyola, when the Holy Father told Father General Adolfo Nicolás that he would like to join them.The Pope’s visit was private and informal. He joined the Jesuits and their lay co-workers for a meal in the refectory, then retired with them for coffee in the recreation room. Among those at the meal were seven siblings...
Saturday 2 August is the Feast of St Pierre Favre SJ – the first since he was canonised by Pope Francis last year. One of the original Companions alongside St Ignatius Loyola and St Francis Xavier, it was Favre who was ordained first and presided over the Mass at Montmartre at which they committed themselves to founding the Society of Jesus. When Pope Francis announced his ‘equivalent canonisation’ last December, the Jesuit Superior General Father Adolfo Nicolás said: “...
Pope Francis has asked Catholics across Britain to protect the right to life. In a special message for the annual Day for Life which is marked this Sunday (27 July) in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the Pope encourages young Catholics in particular to “combat the culture of death” by working to ensure legislation that respects life and to strive to bring Christ’s “life-giving balm” to the poor and vulnerable in society.Day for Life is a day dedicated to...
Sun breaking through the clouds
Pope Francis has brought a breath of fresh air into the Church.  There had been a disturbing trend for the embrace of our churches to become less inclusive. We seemed to be requiring a purity and exclusivity not demanded by Jesus in the Gospels.   Indeed the very word ‘inclusivity’ is often dismissed as being part of the ‘I am spiritual but not religious’ ethos, as if being inclusive were some kind of light-weight, New-Age, thing rather than a central demand within Christian discipleship itself...
Pope Francis has called for more respect for nature, saying that the destruction of South America's rain forests and other forms of environmental exploitation are ‘a sin of modern times’.In an address to students, farmers and redundant workers at the University of Molise, an agricultural region of southern Italy, the Pope said the earth should be allowed to give her fruits without being exploited. “This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to...
In a culture that can seem obsessed with celebrity, that even grades them A-List, B-List etc. – the church celebrated on Sunday 29th June two of our foremost saints.  Saints Peter and Paul have been called the indispensable men of the early church: Peter who has the unique authority that Jesus conferred to him, who is given the keys to heaven, Petrus the Rock on which Jesus says "I will build my Church".  And Paul, the great missionary, who first takes the news of the...
Three of the works of mercy are depicted: giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the prisoner and clothing the naked. (Matthew 25) From Jim Forest at flickr.com
The Church is alive, growing, developing throughout time.  In his Spiritual Exercises St Ignatius emphasises the importance of following ‘the mind of the Church’, echoing Jesus’ warning to be ‘alert to the sign of the times.’  In his various comments on the teaching of the Church, Pope Francis would seem to be presenting the mind of the Church today.  In support of the New Evangelisation, Francis urges us not to be afraid of breaking with convention, doing things differently.  Effectively, it...
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby met today to recommit themselves to the struggle against modern slavery and human trafficking. The two global leaders have continually spoken out to challenge this crime against humanity, and have acted decisively to support the foundation of the new faith-based global freedom network which has offices at the Vatican.In an audience with the Archbishop this morning, the Pope departed from his official text and spoke in English.  “Don...

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