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Pope expresses shock over cruelty waged against innocent Iraqis
As a military operation in northern Iraq fights to wrest control of areas held by retaliating Islamic State forces, Pope Francis criticized the “cruelty” and heinous violence waged against innocent civilians. He invited people to pray with him, asking that “Iraq, while gravely stricken, might be both strong and firm in the hope of moving toward a future of security, reconciliation and peace.”
Archbishop Chaput: Be like Mary. Punch the devil in the nose.
Catholics should look to Mary to be part of a religion that fights for truth, rather than assimilating to the popular culture, said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. “If we want to reclaim who we are as a Church, if we want to renew the Catholic imagination, we need to begin, in ourselves and in our local parishes, by unplugging our hearts from the assumptions of a culture that still seems familiar but is no longer really ‘ours,’” Archbishop Chaput said. “This is why Mary – the young Jewish virgin, the loving mother, and the woman who punches the devil in the nose – was, is, and always will be the great defender of the Church,” he added.
‘Rigid’ people are ill, hypocrites, or worse, Pope says
Commenting on the confrontations between Jesus and the Pharisees, the Pope said: “Beneath rigidity there is always something hidden: in many cases a double life, but there is also some sort of disease lingering there.” The Pontiff told the congregation at the Sanctae Marthae resident that some people consider themselves superior because they adhere to the Law, “but beneath there is something not so nice about them: either they are bad or they are hypocrites or they are ill.”
China allows ordination of Vatican-approved bishop
The announcement of the bishop’s ordination appeared to lend new credibility to reports that the Vatican is close to an agreement with Beijing that would resolve a long impasse over the appointment of new bishops. The ordination in Changzhi could be the first result of a reported agreement in which the Vatican will recognize several bishops appointed by the government, and the Chinese regime in turn will give the Holy See veto power over future episcopal appointments. (The Vatican has not confirmed that an agreement is imminent, nor discussed the terms of a proposed accord.)
That time a priest was reprimanded by a saint
When white smoke poured out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel on October 16, 1978, Fr. Eamon Kelly, a seminarian studying in Rome at the time, couldn’t have known that he was witnessing the election of a future saint. Nor did he know that more than a dozen years after that election, he would be reprimanded by that same future saint, John Paul II, during one of his Wednesday general audiences.