- Pope asks for international action to help Iraq's persecuted Christians Catholic News Service. 08/07/14:
Pope Francis asked Catholics around the world to pray for tens of thousands of Christians from villages in northeastern Iraq who were forced from their homes in the middle of the night by Islamic State militants.
The pope also made a "pressing appeal to the international community to take initiatives to put an end to the humanitarian drama underway, to take steps to protect those involved and threatened by violence and to ensure the necessary aid for so many displaced people whose fate depends on the solidarity of others," the Vatican spokesman said Aug. 7.
- Pope lifts suspension of Father D'Escoto, former Sandinista official Catholic News Service. 08/06/14:
Pope Francis has lifted the suspension of Maryknoll Father Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, who was ordered 29 years ago to stop exercising his priestly ministry because he refused to give up his political position in Nicaragua's Sandinista government.
The pope made his decision after Father D'Escoto, 81, formally requested permission to resume priestly duties, Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican press office, said Aug. 4. Vatican Radio reported that Father D'Escoto had written that he wanted to be able to celebrate Mass again "before dying."
- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The Pope Zenit News Service. 08/01/14. Thursday evening, to mark the feast of St. Ignatius, the Holy Father made a surprise visit for dinner at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome, reported Vatican Radio.
- Pope is inspiration for first privately funded refugee rescue operation La Stampa 07/31/14. "Regina Catracombe a businesswoman living in Malta is using her personal wealth to help desperate immigrants trying to cross Mediterranean waters."
- Let me call you 'brother': Pope takes ecumenism one step at a time, by Cindy Wooden. Catholic News Service. 07/29/14. "The only name Pope Francis wants divided Christians to call each other is "brother" or "sister."
- Pope has casual Q&A with priests of Caserta Vatican Radio. 07/29/14. Pope Francis met with the priests of the Diocese of Caserta on his visit there on Saturday afternoon. The Pope engaged in a question-and-answer period with the priests in the Palatina della Reggia di Caserta Chapel.
- Francis' sober apology to the Evangelicals, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 07/29/14.
The sober words Pope Francis addressed to pastor Giovanni Traettino and the rest of Evangelical Pentecostal community in Caserta yesterday morning continued a path started by St. John Paul II on the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. On and in order to mark that occasion John Paul II was keen for the Church to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes made by Christians – and men of the Church –during the course of history, as a gesture of penitence. With this initiative - which cardinals did not agree with because they feared the Church would have to apologise for things that had no real historical basis – John Paul II wished to show that the Church was not afraid to recognize the betrayals, excesses, exploitation and violence that had been committed over the centuries in the name of the Christian God; behaviour that was not in the least bit Christian-like.
Pope Francis apologised to the Pentecostal community especially for what had gone on during the fascist period when Evangelical pastors were deported, churches destroyed and miniscule Evangelical movements were declared “harmful to the physical and mental identity of the [Italian] race.” Many clerics back then kept silent and some parish priests reported Evangelicals to the OVRA, the Italian fascist regime’s secret police. Laws and provisions were passed by Christians, by baptized people. Francis also wants the word “sect” to be used more carefully when referring to the various new branches of the Evangelical faith.
- In latest interview, Pope Francis reveals top 10 secrets to happiness, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 07/29/14.
- Pope Gets in Line at Vatican Canteen Zenit News Service. 07/25/14. "The Pope spent his lunchtime today queuing up for food in the Vatican canteen and dining with Vatican staff. ... Saying how emotional of an experience it was, the chef added that 'it is one of the most satisfying things that can happen to you in life.'"
- The Pope’s conversation with Scalfari and the words Francis never pronounced, by Andrea Tornielli. La Stampa "The Vatican Insider" 07/14/14:
Fr. Lombardi’s immediate response to the article published by Italian newspaper La Repubblica illustrates the surprise it caused in the Vatican: The Pope never made any mention of "paedophile cardinals", neither did he speak about celibacy in the terms described, nor did he say he would come down hard on paedophile priests "like Jesus did".
- Pope meets sex abuse victims, says clergy actions cloaked in complicity, by Carol Glatz. Catholic News Service. 07/07/14:
Asking for forgiveness, Pope Francis told abuse survivors that "despicable actions" caused by clergy have been hidden for too long and had been "camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained."
"There is no place in the church's ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not," and to hold all bishops accountable for protecting young people, the pope said during a special early morning Mass for six survivors of abuse by clergy. The Mass and private meetings held later with each individual took place in the Domus Sanctae Marthae -- the pope's residence and a Vatican guesthouse where the survivors also stayed.
- The Strange Silences of a Very Talkative Pope, by Sandro Magister. Chiesa. 08/01/14. Not a word for the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, nor for the Pakistani Asia Bibi, sentenced to death on the charge of having offended Islam. And then the audiences denied to former president of the IOR Gotti Tedeschi, driven out for wanting to clean house.
- Why in the Devil Does Pope Francis Speak So Much About the Prince of This World?, by Fr. Thomas Rosica. Zenit News Service. 07/31/14:
Francis refers to the devil continually. He does not believe him to be a myth, but a real person, the most insidious enemy of the Church. We may be tempted to ask, why in the devil is Pope Francis so involved with the prince of demons?
- Francis's Secret Friend in Caserta Sandro Magister. 07/23/14. "He is not Catholic, but Pentecostal, a part of those Christian communities which are in breathtaking expansion all over the world. Little by little the pope is meeting with their leaders. From rivals he wants to become friends, to the point of asking their forgiveness."
- Is a Period of Papal Reserve Now Overdue?, by Dr. William Oddie. Crisis "A period of reserve would now be a good thing. There needs to be less, not more, spontaneous papal activity. Especially on the phone."