Catholic News

Pope Francis at General Audience: Communion of Saints Church’s deepest reality


2013-10-30 Vatican Radio



(Vatican Radio) At his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis continued his series of catechetical reflections on the Creed, focusing this week on the Communion of Saints. In the English-language synthesis of the Holy Father’s remarks read out following the main catechesis in Italian, Pope Francis writes, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the Communion of Saints is a communion “in holy things” and “among holy persons” (No. 948).

The Holy Father’s remarks go on to say that the Communion of Saints is the deepest reality of the Church, because in Christ, through Baptism, we are made sharers in the communion of life and love which is the Blessed Trinity: Listen:

As such, we are united to one another in the Body of Christ. Through this fraternal communion we draw nearer to God and we are called to support one another spiritually. The communion of saints does not only embrace the Church on earth; it also embraces all who have died in Christ, the souls in purgatory and the saints in heaven.

Pope Francis’s remarks go on to say that that we experience this solidarity between heaven and earth in our intercessory prayer and in the feasts of All Saints and All Souls which we shall soon celebrate. “As we rejoice in this great mystery,” his remarks conclude, “let us ask the Lord to draw us ever closer to Him and to all our brothers and sisters in the Church.”

Pope: reconciliation, peace, unity and stability for Iraq


2013-10-30 Vatican Radio


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis appealed for peace in Iraq on Wednesday.The Holy Father made his appeal at the close of his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, before greeting Iraqi civil authorities and representatives of the various religious groups which, said Pope Francis, “constitute the richness of the country.” The Iraqi delegation was accompanied by the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Card. Jean-Louis Tauran.

Pope Francis said, “I invite you all to pray for the dear nation of Iraq, unfortunately affected daily by tragic episodes of violence, in order that Iraq might find the way that leads to reconciliation, peace, unity and stability.” At least a dozen incidents over the weekend claimed scores of lives in Iraq this past weekend – the latest in a wave of deadly violence that has been on the rise since April of this year.

Pope Francis to WCC: Show solidarity to the most vulnerable


2013-10-30 Vatican Radio


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has called on all Christians to intensify prayer and cooperate in service of the Gospel in a letter to the participants of the Tenth General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, currently taking place in Busan, South Korea.

The President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, read the letter to participants on Wednesday.

Pope Francis told the Assembly all Christians are called “to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.”

The full text of the Pope’s letter is printed below

To My Venerable Brother
Cardinal Kurt Koch
President
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

On the occasion of the Tenth General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, I ask you to convey my cordial greetings and good wishes to all gathered in Busan, and in a particular way to the General Secretary, Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and the representatives of the Christian communities present. I assure you of my close pastoral interest in the deliberations of the Assembly and I willingly reaffirm the commitment of the Catholic Church to continuing its long-standing cooperation with the World Council of Churches.

The theme of the Assembly, God of Life, Lead us to Justice and Peace, is above all a prayerful invocation of the Triune God who draws all creation to its fulfillment through the redemptive power of the Cross of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit. Truly, wherever the gift of life is cherished, and justice and peace prevail, God’s Kingdom is present and his sovereign power is already at work.

For this reason, I trust that the present Assembly will help to consolidate the commitment of all Christ’s followers to intensified prayer and cooperation in the service of the Gospel and the integral good of our human family. The globalized world in which we live demands of us a common witness to the God-given dignity of every human being and the effective promotion of the cultural, social and legal conditions which enable individuals and communities to grow in freedom, and which support the mission of the family as the fundamental building-block of society, ensure a sound and integral education for the young, and guarantee for all the untrammeled exercise of religious liberty. In fidelity to the Gospel, and in response to the urgent needs of the present time, we are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies and to show particular solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment.

Conscious that the soul of ecumenism remains authentic conversion, holiness and prayer (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 8), I pray that the General Assembly will contribute to a new impulse of vitality and vision on the part of all committed to the sacred cause of Christian unity, in fidelity to the Lord’s will for his Church (cf. Jn 17:21) and in openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Upon all gathered in Busan I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God, source of all life and of every spiritual gift.

From the Vatican, 4 October 2013, Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

FRANCIS

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